Weekend Box Office: ‘Contagion’ Spreads, but Not Wildly

The weekend following Labor Day is usually known as one of the worst of the year. Two of the four movies opening this weekend tanked, one was slightly off track, and the other not nearly as successful as it should have been – all of which is pretty much typical for the end-of-summer weekend.

As expected, Steven Soderbergh’s biological thriller ‘Contagion‘ dominated the box office this weekend, earning $14 million more than its second-place competitor, ‘The Help‘. ‘Contagion’ had the biggest opening since five-week-old ‘Help’ debuted, and totaled less than one million under ‘The Town‘, which opened this same weekend last year.

Starring Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Laurence Fishburne, Marion Cotillard and too many other notable actors to mention, ‘Contagion’ follows a few civilians, health officials and scientists trying to find the origins of a deadly virus before it turns into a full-fledged pandemic. While the film received an 82% score on Rotten Tomatoes and a B- CinemaScore rating, you can read why I gave it a grim review here.

Predicted to debut with $8.5 million, the Mixed Martial Arts drama ‘Warrior‘ opened with a mild $5.6 million, securing the #3 spot. Despite also scoring an 82% on Rotten Tomatoes and an A from CinemaScore, the movie wasn’t quite the underdog winner that it deserved to be.

One need not be a fan of Ultimate Fighting in order to enjoy ‘Warrior’. Knowing this, in an attempt to spread a positive word of mouth, Lionsgate showed the film last Sunday in sneak previews across the United States. Unfortunately, positive buzz wasn’t enough to give ‘Warrior’ the strength necessary to pass expectations, let alone meet them. Read why I personally loved the film in my review here.

With a 0% Rotten Tomatoes rating, the Adam Sandler co-written comedy ‘Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star‘ opened in the #15 spot with $1.4 million. The epic failure of ‘Bucky Larson’ would be even more remarkable had it not been trumped by the unoriginally-titled horror flick ‘Creature‘.

According to Box Office Mojo, the opening of ‘Creature’ is “the worst ever for a movie playing at 1,500 locations or more.” Pulling in only $331,000, ‘Creature’ had the fifth lowest-grossing opening of a nationwide release and the second-worst per-screen average. In my last Weekend Movies post, I dared Bonus View readers to see ‘Creature’ and report back on how bad it was. So far, no one has taken up the challenge. Looking at the numbers, I doubt anyone will.

Top 10:

1. ‘Contagion’ (Warner Bros.) – $23,135,000

2. ‘The Help’ (Buena Vista) – $8,691,000

3. ‘Warrior’ (Lionsgate) – $5,607,000

4. ‘The Debt’ (Focus) – $4,905,000

5. ‘Colombiana’ (TriStar) – $4,000,000

6. ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ (Fox) – $3,875,000

7. ‘Shark Night 3D’ (Relativity) – $3,533,000

8. ‘Apollo 18’ (Weinstein/Dimension) – $2,913,000

9. ‘Our Idiot Brother’ (Weinstein) – $2,761,000

10. ‘Spy Kids: All the Time in the World’ (Weinstein/Dimension) – $2,506,000


  1. Deaditelord

    Much to my surprise, movie critic James Berardinelli actually reviewed Creature and gave it 2 stars, stating that it almost falls into the “so bad it’s good” category and wondering what photos the director had to secure the film’s limited theatrical release.

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