Biff Bam Pop’s Box Office Wrap-Up Report – Weekend of September 9th

This weekend at the box office offered up few surprises – the most high profile film of the weekend debut in the top spot as predicted, while the other two new releases were virtually DOA. Here’s what happened:

The Steven Soderbergh directed film Contagion, staring Matt Damon, Kate Winslet and a whole host of A-list actors, debut at number one this weekend with a solid #23 million (I predicted $20 million, so I wasn’t far off at all). The deadly virus story managed to combine top stars and a topic that would get audiences into theatres. The film does have a listed budget of $60 million, so I’m skeptical that Contagion will be considered a hit. It will be interesting to see how it holds up over the coming weeks.

Debuting in third place with an absolutely abysmal $5.6 million was the Mixed Martial Arts film Warrior, staring Tom Hardy. MMA (specifically UFC) is so hot right now, I (along with the producers) thought Warrior would bring in audiences (hence my $12 million prediction). Sports films are sometimes a tough sell, and it looks like people would rather pay their money to watch MMA rather than a film about it. Look for this one on VOD and DVD soon enough.

As for the rest of the top 5, it consisted of a few holdovers. The Help continued it’s winning ways, holding steady at number two with $8.6 million (I had predicted a third place showing and $10 million). The Help has become one of the biggest hits of the summer, with a current gross of $137 million.

The Debt landed at number four this weekend with $4.9 million (I had predicted a fifth place showing with $5.5 million), while Colombiana itched back into the top 5, bringing in $4 million. I hadn’t made a prediction on this film, instead thinking that Rise of the Planet of the Apes would hit number four with $6 million. That movie wound up in the sixth spot with a $3.8 gross.

As for the other film that debut this weekend, Buck Larson: Born To Be A Star, it was anything but, landing at fifteen with $1.4 million.

So to recap, here we our predictions:

1) Contagion – $20 million
2) Warrior – $11 million
3) The Help – $10 million
4) Rise of the Planet of the Apes – $6 million
5) The Debt – $5.5 million

And here’s how the weekend turned out:

1) Contagion – $23 million
2) The Help – $8.6 million
3) Warrior – $5.6 million
4) The Debt – $4.8 million
5) Colombiana– $4 million

We’ll see if Contagion can hold onto the top spot next weekend when four films aim to take it’s place – The Lion King In 3D, Drive, I Don’t Know She Does It and the remake of Straw Dogs. Check back on Friday to see our predictions.

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