Box office report: 'Contagion' leads slow weekend with $23.1 mil, while 'Creature' sets record lows

Contagion-04

Image Credit: Claudette Barius

It was not a pretty weekend at the box office. According to studio estimates, this was the lowest-grossing weekend of the year, with the top 10 movies collectively earning just $66.4 million. Only one of four new wide releases, the Warner Bros. thriller Contagion, opened to encouraging numbers.

The Steven Soderbergh film, about the outbreak of a deadly virus, swabbed a solid $23.1 million, with $2.3 million coming from IMAX theaters. The PG-13 movie, which featured an Oscar-endorsed cast including Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Marion Cotillard, and Gwyneth Paltrow, drew an adult crowd — 81 percent of the audience was at least 25 years old. Made for about $60 million, Contagion garnered positive reviews from critics, but settled for a mediocre “B-” rating from CinemaScore moviegoers.

In second place, The Help suffered its biggest drop (a still very respectable 41 percent) to earn $8.7 million. Before this weekend, the drama had spent 25 straight days at No. 1 — the longest daily streak since 1999’s The Sixth Sense. The Kathryn Stockett adaptation, which was produced for just $25 million, has so far grossed an outstanding $137.1 million.

The mixed martial arts drama Warrior debuted in third to an underwhelming $5.6 million. According to Lionsgate, 66 percent of the audience consisted of, unsurprisingly, men. Of greater interest is whether the PG-13 film managed to attract young men. The studio says 51 percent of the movie’s audience was at least 25 years old, while CinemaScore places that figure at 70 percent. Either way, Warrior skewed a bit older than one would expect for a picture about mixed martial arts. That may be because Lionsgate marketed the $25 million movie as more of a prestige film than an action-packed sports flick.

The good news is that the critically acclaimed film picked up an “A” rating from CinemaScore participants. If favorable word of mouth spreads and Warrior manages to hold up well the next few weeks, it could turn itself into something of a sleeper hit.

Those last two words won’t be used to describe the week’s other two new releases. The Adam Sandler-produced comedy Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star opened in 15th place to a pitiful $1.5 million at 1,500 theaters. (Apparently the movie really likes the number 15.) Those who did attend Sony’s $10 million R-rated film, starring Nick Swardson as an aspiring porn actor, were mostly young men — 65 percent of the audience was male and 64 percent was under the age of 25.

But the half-man, half-alligator monster flick Creature, made by the indie production company The Bubble Factory, dropped the box-office bar to historic lows. The small-budget R-rated film, which was inexplicably released in 1,507 theaters, debuted to a microscopic $331,000. That represents a per-location average of $220. Let’s say the movie screened an average of five times a day at each theater, and that tickets cost $8. Under those circumstances, each showing of Creature drew an average audience of two moviegoers.

Creature also set the worst opening ever for a film playing in at least 1,500 theaters, beating Delgo‘s $512,000 debut. The title character of that 2008 animated flop was also some sort of humanoid reptile. Hey, Michael Bay, you sure you want to produce that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot?

Among holdovers, the spy thriller The Debt fell 51 percent for $4.9 million, and the revenge action film Colombiana dipped 46 percent for $4 million. And in limited release, Laugh at My Pain, the theatrical version of Kevin Hart’s stand-up comedy tour, debuted to $2 million at 97 locations for a stellar per-theater gross of $20,619.

1. Contagion — $23.1 mil
2. The Help — $8.7 mil
3. Warrior — $5.6 mil
4. The Debt — $4.9 mil
5. Colombiana — $4.0 mil


Comments (147 total) Add your comment
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  • GUS

    Warrior should have been #1 in 50 years because Warrior is going to be thought of as Citizen Kane is now, a landmark in cinema history, scholars will be talking about it in film schools, it is destined to become legendary, truly a life changing expierience for any one who sees it, if they come up with a cure for cancer they should name it after this film, it is that important!

    • Tony

      Did you Really just compare Warrior to Citizen Kane?

      • GUS

        there is no comparison Warrior is much Better, a life changing event!

      • LOL

        America loves crap.

      • c

        crap like Fast Five

      • William Forrester

        I love poop!

      • LOL

        Fast Five is the best movie of the year

      • GUS

        Fast Five is so 3 months ago, you must be really old, Warrior is now and important!..not just a movie but a way of living!

      • LOL

        The summer is over, and Fast Five is still the best film of the this year, indeed, this century. I don’t expect movies to live up to the brilliance of a film like Fast Five, but even half as good would be great. Come on Hollywood, step it up! And my fellow Americans, stop going to see the garbage that Hollywood churns out every week, we won’t get quality films again until you reject the crap.

      • GUS

        Again LOL you must be really really old, go see Warrior it may help you out with your Alziemer’s Disease, because Warrior is more then just a movie!

      • LOL

        Warrior might have been saved if Vin Diesel and The Rock had been in it. As it is, just more crap.

      • GUS

        you seem to love the word Crap, maybe that is the problem, go take a really long bowel movement, then you will se the light, Warrior does not need saving, but it can save you my son!

      • Captain

        I’m sorry Gus but Warrior is in no way comparable to Citizen Kane. The only film that has ever come out that even holds a candle to that kind of brilliance is Glee: The 3D Concert Movie. Now that was a life changing movie.

      • LOL

        Oh, I just saw your other posts Gus, I get what you’re doing there. Funny stuff, carry on.

      • GUS

        sorry Glee is just a tv show about special needs children (god bless those retards) but Warrior is a gift from god, I went into the theater Bald and came out with a full head of hair!

      • AB

        Crap loves Gus, apparently.

      • GUS

        everyone talks about “Crap” on this site they seem to be obsessed with, AB go see Warrior it will make you more regular, kinda like fiber!

      • tang2

        A is for AWESOME you go Cinema Score, the most important group since the Warren Commision!BTW,I wanna share a good news to you.My best friend ,she just has announced her wedding with a millionaire man who is a businessman!they met via Millionaireloving.C óM ..it is the largest and best club for rich people and their admirers to chat online. …You do not have to be rich or famous. ,but you can meet one , It’s worthy a try,Maybe you wanna check it out or tell your friends!

      • Woot

        Oh my god GUS I can’t stop laughing at your post about Glee. Ahhh I needed a good laugh today.

      • L

        I can’t stop laughing about that Glee post either!

      • nodnarb

        This site is not even worth coming to anymore … the trolls have taken over.

      • ?

        get the sand out of your lady parts nodnarb!

      • forrest

        so Gus works for the promotions department of this unknown film – amazing……. or G.U.S. = Gonna Use Sarcasm…..

      • Joe

        Did you just compare Gus to a sentient human being?
        He’s Gus the talking MULE!

      • LiLi

        Gus has ruined Warrior for me. I no longer wanna see it.

      • ?

        WOW LiLi you are so weak minded that you are gonna let some obviously sarcastic comments on a message decide what movie you are going to see, hey I have some swamp land to sell you!

      • GUS

        If loving the most important film ever made, Warrior, makes me a MULE, then call me a MULE, as long as you see Warrior!

      • GUS

        Gots to go. Momma’s calling me for my medicines.

      • GUS

        that last comment was an imposter, I grew up in foster homes and never met my mother, so that was a cruel hoax, just because I think Warrior is fantastic does not make me crazy!

    • Cain

      relax. Warrior was really good. It’s not what people think it is. It’s really a drama that has sports in it.

    • DRG

      Please. Enough with the fanboy hyperbole for Warrior. Give it a rest.

      • GUS

        Warrior will win 300 academy awards. 400 oscars, and a guest starring role on Glee!

      • c

        ok Gus I have to admit, that was funny!

      • Maggie

        @GUS: Probably the funniest comment I have read on EW comment boards. Thank you.

      • pete

        HAHA you are a lot funnier that the LOL troll!

      • GUS

        Warrior just won the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, so the awards are already starting to roll in

      • GUS

        Youtube user PHILSWORLD1978 just gave Warrior his coveted Film of the Weekend award on his review vlog, take notice Academy Members …the awards are mounting, he went on to say that it ranks up there with “Snakes On a Plane” and “Kick Ass” as one of the best films ever!..high praise indeed!

    • tosh

      Tom Hardy isnt much a of a draw. Over rated actor. Same ticks and mannerisms in all his work

      • GUS

        you should have your toungue removed for saying that, Tom Hardy is in the most important film of all-time Warrior, and is a God!

      • GUS

        in fact I am going to rename my kids “Tom” and “Hardy”, they are both girls, but hey later on in life they will thank me!

      • L

        Gus you are truly hilarious man! Thanks for the laugh.

    • STFU

      Regardless of the comedic stylings of LOL…I mean, GUS. Warrior was a worthwhile trip to the theater. Unfortunately a few other people got a little too enthused and wordy over their movie experience and now we have another snide pric* with one joke to repeat over and over again.

      • GUS

        would never joke about something as important as Warrior, we are on the same page STFU, we are one in the same, don’t fight it!

      • Craig

        Lighten up STFU, Gus is pretty damn funny, it comes off as actual satire, which you usually do not get on these message boards, it’s not going to make a difference one way or the other if someone is going to see the movie

      • pete

        what do you have a stake in the film STFU, chill out man!

      • STFU

        No Pete, I don’t have a stake in the film. In fact, the only thing I said was that it was worthwhile, nothing more.

      • pete

        well you are calling people snide pric*’s because they are poking fun at the hyperbole directed at the film, so it seems like more then just saying the film is worthwhile (which btw I agree with you about)..it is obvious the guy is just having fun, and I for one find it entertaining!

      • LiLi

        Idea: how about letting people see a film they wanna see without all the “poking fun” nonsense that supposed to make people believe someone is smarter than the rest of us. UGH! all you people are annoying!

      • ?

        LiLi you are so so weak minded, why don’t make your own mind up!

      • LiLi

        you are right I am an idiot that cannot think for myself, so what should I do next?

    • Sue

      Not citizen Kane, but its a damn fine film.

      • GUS

        Thank god it is not Commie Crap like Citizen Kane, it is more then a Film, it is a religion!

    • Ell

      this is entertaining…

    • Barry

      YOU need a life Gus.

      • GUS

        did not have one until I saw Warrior, maybe you should see it too Barry!

    • D.Smithee

      Geezus–do I ever hate PR flacks.

      • pete

        I don’t think Gus is a PR Flack, I think he is poking fun at all the hyperbole, that have been posted on these message boards about the film, for the last couple weeks, if you read all his posts they are a lot funnier then most of the troll posts you read!

  • GUS

    Warrior should have been #1….because in 50 years Warrior is going to be thought of as Citizen Kane is now, a landmark in cinema history, scholars will be talking about it in film schools, it is destined to become legendary, truly a life changing expierience for any one who sees it, if they come up with a cure for cancer they should name it after this film, it is that important

    • LOL

      I love you.

      • GUS

        LOL…I am glad you have finally seen the light my friend!

  • GUS

    A is for AWESOME you go Cinema Score, the most important group since the Warren Commision!

    • Cain

      You’re laying on a little thick son.

      • GUS

        Cain my brother, just trying to convey what a life changing event Warrior is, it can save lives!

      • LOL

        GUS loves crap.

      • GUS

        LOL, you keep speaking about Crap, I am concerned, if you are constipated, go see Warrior, it will help you with your bowels, better then Ex-Lax!

  • Eric P

    Warrior ok film full of cliches and unrealistic plot devices.

    • GUS

      BLASPHEMY!!!..Warrior is the second coming!..no other films has or will ever be as good!

    • Reality

      so many trolls on this site!

    • gold

      @Eric P yours is the only comment I agree with, it is no big deal on either side not bad, not great just a time killer to be watched then forgotten!

      • GUS

        gold you are Tarnished, there is no way you could watch the masterpiece that is Warrior and forget it!

  • brokenteeth

    I’m in Contagion!

    • Captain

      I saw Contagion too…it was called Outbreak.

      • Justin

        Not even close, Captain. Outbreak was contained to one small town. The virus in Contagion affected people on a worldwide scale.

      • L

        Much like the film 28 Days Later.

  • fbdbpw

    Contagion and warrior were both excellent films. I was actually underwhelmed by the trailer for warrior but when i saw it it became my 3rd favorite films of the year behind source code and hp7 i enjoyed it more than contagion and no im not some troll who keeps predicting oscar nominations nor am i trying to promote either film

    • GUS

      Source Code and HP7 were mere movies, any true believer would know that Warrior is “THE MOVIE”, my life was changed because of it, there will never be another one like it!

      • LOL

        Maybe you need to get yourself connected to a little thing I like to call Fast Five. If you think Warrior changed your life, wait until you see that! It will show you a whole other level of entertainment you never even knew existed. You will go in a slub who thinks movies like Warrior are Oscar worthy and come out knowing the true meaning of life! And it has Vin Diesel. He can drive my stick anytime!

      • pete

        LOL give it up you just are not as funny as GUS

  • Dominic

    So a moronic sci-fi film like Transformers 3 receives an “A” grade on CinemaScore; but a smart sci-fi thriller like Contagion only earns a B-. That speaks for the growing taste in stupidity that several moviegoers crave. It’s a shame that style continues to overshadow substance in the film industry today. But that’s to be expected, since some audiences would rather be wowed by shiny visuals, and can’t be bothered with good, complex stories.

    • Woot

      I too am a bit surprised that Contagion got such a low cinemascore, I thought it was great… but Contagion is definitely not a Sci-fi thriller. Perhaps one of the most realistic films I’ve seen in a while. It’s B- cinemascore is even more discouraging when you bring up Transformers…

    • EL

      Just when I thought this day couldn’t be anymore of a bummer, you have to go and drop that sad fact, Dominic!

      • GUS

        but is was not a bummer because god’s gift to movies Warrior recieved an A rating, all is right with the world!

  • CrazyTrain

    Warrior is an amazing film. Anyone that has the opportunity to see it, I suggest you do. Great acting from the entire cast and the fight scenes were great. If you enjoyed The Fighter, you’ll also enjoy this film.

    • GUS

      thank you CRAZYTRAIN a voice of reason, god bestowed Warrior on us, trully a gift to Mankind!

  • steve

    I love movies. I tend to think of myself as an up to date kind of entertainment person.But I never even heard of Creature until this past Friday. Was there any marketing for this movie ??

    • William Forrester

      yum …POOP!

    • Jose

      No, I usually look at the weekly release dates but I didn’t even notice that film until the Thursday before it was released.

  • William Forrester

    anyone wanna play with my poop?

  • Rod Steel

    Why are we letting people like Gus who work for the movie even be on this site?

    • GUS

      Rod why so angery?, so see Warrior, it will put you at peace!

    • Maggie

      Rod, it should be pretty obvious that he is not serious.

  • aquarius64

    Maybe because this is the weekend of Sept. 11 is why the movies did not do so well.

    • Captain

      Maybe it had to do with the fact that there were no good movies in theatres.

  • Its um

    Contagion was good, not sure better than Outbreak, that movie is one of my favorite deadly disease film. I’m done with movies at theaters for awhile, looking forward to spring and summer again.

    • Reality

      yes because that is when the important movies come out, not all these movies with adult themes that make you think, who needs that!..bring on the Superheros.remakes, and sequels come spring, yeah!

  • Sara

    I couldn’t hardly keep my eyes open during Contagion!

  • JPX

    I’ve never heard of any of these films.

    • k

      ok go back to your TV and watch NCIS!

      • JPX

        What is NCIS?

      • GUS

        forget NCIS go see Warrior, your life may depend on it!

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