The premieres of three movies, two new and one old, celebrated the Martin Luther King Jr. weekend by seizing top spots in the four-day weekend box office but not without trouble from a pair of five-weekend aces. Mark Wahlberg and Kate Beckinsale smuggled counterfeit bills and director Baltasar Kormákur’s $25 million Contraband to #1 with $28.515 million while Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton dreamed a whole lot louder with $13.802 million in #4 Joyful Noise from director/writer/actor Todd Graff. Just like 2011’s successful re-release of Disney’s The Lion King in 3D (the 1994 film was #1 for two weekends in a row, grossing $94.234 million in 16 weekends), the 20-year-old Beauty and the Beast, also in 3D, roared to #2 with $22.213 million.
Aces Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows filled in the rest of the top five at #3 and #5, respectively. The action-packed sequels have been running parallel over the course of five weekends at the box office, staying at the top with rankings of no less than #5. This weekend, M:I4 grossed $14.201 million, a 28.5% decrease, at 3,346 theaters ($509.448 million worldwide) and SH2 grossed $10.444 million, a 23.7% decrease, at 3,155 theaters ($394.043 million worldwide).
The Devil Inside was exorcised from its debut spot at #1, falling five to #6. Even with a 73.2% decrease at $9.034 million, writer/director William Brent Bell’s horror flick increased its theater count to 2,551 with 266 theaters. The movie is now $46.381 million in the black over its $1 million production budget.
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