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After sitting at number one for a solid 25 days straight (the longest stretch since 1999 when The Sixth Sense held the post for 35 days in a row) The Help finally took a break and settled for second place, making room for newcomer Contagion to rule the weekend.
With $23 million in the bank Contagion brings some relief to the floundering box office which hasn't seen a new movie break $20 million since The Help opened a month ago. Good news for the box office, but only so-so for the film itself. Producers might have been hoping for something a little larger to help balance out the movie's modest $60 million budget. Maybe next time they won't consider the weekend of the 10th anniversary of 9-11 a good time to release a thriller movie about a disease that ravages the earth's population.
There's been a lot of buzz around another of this week's debut, but at the box office it got little more than a hum. Warrior punched in at only $5 million for a very distant third place. Of course, that only makes it even more of an underdog and hence an ever bigger favorite come awards time. Several solid predictors were expecting the film's recent popularity amongst critics to earn it closer to $10 million, but the audience just didn't come in swinging.
The absurdly useless Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star opened this weekend as well, but with only $1.4 million in tickets sold it had no hope of breaking into the top ten. The Adam Sandler penned, critically panned (the movie is enjoying a rare 0% at Rotten Tomatoes) "comedy" settled for fifteenth place. The more popular comedy entry, Kevin Hart's stand-up-show-turned-movie Laugh At My Pain banked $2 million despite showing in just under 100 theaters.
For the full weekend top ten, check out the chart below: