Film News: ‘Contagion’ Infects Box Office, Knocks ‘The Help’ From Top Spot

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CHICAGO – Steven Soderbergh’s new Sci-Fi/Thriller “Contagion” hit the box office with a bang this past weekend, knocking out the three-week champ “The Help,” which finished a distant second place in box office totals.

Packed with big name actors and actresses and an intriguing plot about a mysterious airborne disease that kills its host, “Contagion” brought in $22.4 million over the weekend, making it the first new-release film to top the box office since “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” did so in the first weekend of August.

Finishing at number two and adding another $8.9 million to its total gross was “The Help.” This is the second time the drama finished at number two in the box office, having done so in its first weekend in theaters. In five weekends the film has finished in the top spot three times and as the runner up twice, totaling a $137.3 million gross.

The weekends other new release “Warrior” finished at number three in the box office with $5.2 million. The mixed martial arts story about two brothers fighting for the crown received positive reviews from many critics, including a 5 out of 5 rating from’s Brian Tallerico.

The third new release this weekend, “Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star” had a pitiful showing of just $1.4 million on its opening weekend, good enough for the 15 spot at the box office. Perhaps the film’s star, Nick Swardson, wasn’t born to be a star after all.

“Contagion” will try to make it two weeks in a row this coming weekend when it faces off against all the current releases as well as the new Ryan Gosling action/thriller “Drive.”

1. Contagion — $22.4 million – new
2. The Help — $8.9 million – down 39% — $137.3 million total
3. Warrior — $5.2 million – new
4. The Debt — $4.9 million – down 51% — $22 million total
5. Colombiana — $3.9 million – down 47% — $29.7 million total
6. Rise of the Planet of the Apes — $3.9 million – down 51% — $167.8 million total
7. Shark Night 3D — $3.4 million – down 59% — $14.7 million total
8. Apollo 18 — $2.9 million – down 67% — $14.9 million total
9. Our Idiot Brother — $2.7 million – down 51% — $21.3 million total
10. Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D — $2.5 million – down 48% — $34.2 million total staff writer Tim Martens

Staff Writer

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