I didn’t love Mark Wahlberg’s Contraband. I didn’t hate it, either. But what I can say is that its success — it opened at number one with $24 million over the weekend — is kind of refreshing, in that Contraband is not a remake or a sequel or based on a comic book. The first two weeks of the year have seen a surge in ticket sales over the same period last year, and the number one films over those weeks were new titles.
Of course, last week’s number one film, the now notoriously bad The Devil Inside also saw one of the biggest second week drops in movie history, falling a whopping 76.6 percent. Drops like that are almost always attributed to terrible word of mouth, and the word of mouth on The Devil Inside has been heinous. In fact, The Devil Inside is now among the top 20 Biggest Second Week Drops in Box Office History. Here’s the full list (with percentage drops in parenthesis). You’ll obviously recognize a several films that were hurt by negative word of mouth.
1. Undiscovered: (86.4%)
2. Slow Burn (84.7%)
3. Gigli (81.9%)
4. Bad Moon (81.5%)
5. Return to the Blue Lagoon (80.8%)
6.Friday the 13th (2009) (80.4%)
7. The Brothers Solomon (80.3%)
8. Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace (79.8%)
9. Radioland Murders (78.5%)
10. Another You (78.2%)
11. The Squeeze (78.1%)
12. Steel (78%)
13. Stay (77.8%)
14. Captivity (77.7%)
15. Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience (77.4%)
16. From Justin to Kelly (77%)
17. In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (76.8%)
18. Club Dread (77.6%)
19. The Devil Inside (77.6%)
20. Marci X (76.2%)
What’s exceptional about The Devil Inside is that, among the 20 biggest second week drops, it’s only one of three that actually made more than $3 million its first weekend (along with Friday the 13th and Jonas Brothers). Most of the other films were likely pulled from theaters; The Devil Inside, on the other hand, added theaters, and still had a massive drop (from $33 million to $7.9 million).
That’s bad. Really bad.
Still, for all the good news about original properties landing the top spot two weeks in a row, the rest of the top five were recognizable titles. Beauty and the Beast, which was re-released in 3D, landed the number two spot this weekend with $18.4 million, while Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol continues to put up nice numbers. It added another $11 million to bring its total to $186 million (plus a whopping $506 million worldwide).
In at number four, Joyful Noise overperformed with a decent $11 million, not bad for a movie that probably spent 75 percent of its budget on licensing songs (they certainly didn’t spend it on a script).
Elsewhere, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows crossed the $170 million mark, and Girl with a Dragon Tattoo is quietly approaching $100 million. Oh, and The Iron Lady went semi-wide and made a little more than $5 million.
* By “box office history,” I mean: Since 1982, when such things began being tracked.