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Whisper Numbers: Could Beauty and the Beast reprise number one?

The 2012 box office got off to a huge start as horror fans packed theaters last weekend for The Devil Inside [DVNSD]. Three new releases hope the trend continues over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend. Disney had tabled the re-release of Beauty and the Beast 3D [BTB3D] until The Lion King 3D broke out last September. Beauty and the Beast is considered a classic that was even Oscar-nominated for Best Picture before a separate category had been created for feature animation. However, the fairy tale does not play as broadly as The Lion King. The primary audience looks to be women with children as well as young couples. Showing in 2625 theaters, Beauty and the Beast 3D may attain $20 million over the four-day weekend.

After a serious turn for The Fighter, Mark Wahlberg [MWAHL] returns to action with the R-rated Contraband [CNTRB]. Universal targets his fanbase that opened 2008’s PG-13 rated Max Payne to $17.6 million and 2007’s R-rated Shooter to $14.5 million. The film faces competition from Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol [MISS4], but the biggest obstacle for attracting the male audience may be the NFL playoffs this weekend. Opening in 2836 theaters, Contraband could heist $19 million over the long holiday weekend.

Warner Bros. counters with the PG-13 rated musical Joyful Noise [JOYNS] starring Queen Latifah [QLATI] and Dolly Parton. The gospel choir sing-off hopes to attract older women as well as churchgoers. Playing in 2735 locations, Joyful Noise may belt out $13.5 million over the Martin Luther King Jr. weekend.

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol has a chance to be the highest grossing chapter in the franchise as it looks to add another $13 million through Monday.

After a spectacular opening, The Devil Inside is headed for an equally craptacular fall. With poor word of mouth, the horror film is poised to fall 70% over the 3-day weekend to $12 million for the 4-day weekend.

Expanding wide into 803 theaters, the Margaret Thatcher biopic The Iron Lady [IRNLD] could bag about $4 million.

That’s the whisper from the trading floor.



Tag(s): DVNSD, BTB3D, MWAHL, CNTRB, MISS4, JOYNS, QLATI, IRNLD

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By Box Office Whisperer on Thursday, January 12, 2012 @ 04:38 PM 13569 views

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