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Weekend Box Office: Contagion Coughs Up a Win, Warrior Packs Little Punch

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By Chris Kavan - 09/12/11 at 01:10 AM CT

In one of the slowest weekends of the year, Contagion managed to finally break The Helps three week reign over the box office.

With an estimated $23.1 million, Contagion took the top spot. While the numbers were solid, they weren't spectacular numbers. The $60 million film will probably earn back its money, but considering the level of talent involved both in front of and behind the camera, Contagion appears a bit anemic. Still, considering the soft openings of so many films lately, it can be considered a win.

Despite dropping 40% (still the lowest drop out of all films in the top 10), The Help continued to show strength. With a $8.7 million, second-place finish, The Help raised its total to just over $137 million in four weeks. It also edged passed The Smurfs to become the 14th best film of the year, and if it continues to hold well (and why shouldn't it?) it could rise even higher.

Debuting in third, Warrior didn't put up much of a fight. With just $5.6 million, it paled in comparison to The Fighter's $12.1 million. I guess the PG-13 rating didn't help bring in a bigger audience - though the people who saw it did like it - it won a coveted A ranking from those who attended.

The Debt dropped just over 50% from last week to wind up in 4th with $4.9 million and a $22 million total. The modestly-budgeted film surpassed its $20 million budget and can only look better from here on out.

Rounding out the top ten, Colombiana took in an additional $4 million and now stands at $29.8 million after three weeks. Last week's horror-themed films took the biggest hits with Apollo 18 falling 66.5% and Shark Night 3D taking a 58% hit. Though Shark Night took in $3.5 million compared to Apollo 18's $2.9 million - Apollo 18 still had the edge in grosses with $15 million compared to $14.8 for Shark Night.

Still, the biggest story might not even come from anything in the top ten, but rather three films well below the top spots. First the good news: Keven Hart has a lot of pain, but he's laughing all the way to the bank. Despite opening in just 97 theaters, the docu-comedy Kevin Hart: Laugh at My Pain took in $2 million, with a $20,619 theater average. It ranks as one of the best comedy concert movies of all time.

From good to terrible to really, really terrible: Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star flamed out in a big way. I knew the advertising was terrible, but I wasn't expecting this terrible: With just $1.45 million, it was the worst showing for Adam Sandler's Happy Madison production yet. It won't even approach the $10 million budget. But Bucky Larson has one thing going for it: it wasn't Creature.

A film I didn't even realize was getting a wide release (hence its exclusion on Friday) the film holds the dubious record of being the lowest-grossing film ever for opening in 1500 theater or more. With just $331,000 (and a jaw-dropping $220-per theater average) that averages out to just six people per theater watching this train wreck. Terrible thy name is Creature.

Next week Ryan Gosling shows up for Drive, Julia Roberts brings romantic comedy back with I Don't Know How She Does It and another remake attempts to win you over with James Marsden and Kate Bosworth take on Straw Dogs. At this point in the year, it could be anyone's game.

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