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Mark Wahlberg went head-to-head with Walt Disney this holiday weekend, and where one might usually expect the re-release of an Oscar nominated classic to win out, top earnings went to the mediocre thriller.
Contraband fared surprisingly well, coming up first place with $28 million over the four-day holiday. The total is a success both for Wahlberg, whose headlined movies are hit and miss at the box office, and for the studio who saw a quick return on their $25 million budget.
After the major success of Disney's re-release of The Lion Kingin 3D last year, it was to be expected more of its classics would get the same treatment. While Beauty and the Beast didn't quite match Lion King's $30 million opening weekend, it landed second place with $23 million. Never mind that Beauty and the Beast is the better movie (see the aforementioned Oscar nominations for Best Picture), attribute the lesser success to being released in the typically sleepy month of January compared to Lion King's end-of-the-summer release last year.
Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton's feel good flick Joyful Noise settled in at fourth place with $13 million, just behind Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol. As predicted, last week's shock success The Devil Inside plummeted to sixth place, but still managed to add $9 million to its running total.
Weinstein's now award-winning The Iron Lady (Meryl Streep took home the Golden Globe for her turn as Margaret Thatcher) got a little more attention this week as it widened its release to over 800 theaters. The $6 million it banked this weekend left it at number 11, just $400,000 shy of the top ten.
For the full Martin Luther King Jr. top ten totals, check out the chart below: