Friday Report: 'Contagion' Infects Top Spot
On Friday, Contagion shot to the top of the box office, as one would expect of such a high-profile thriller in its opening, but its spread was contained at an estimated $8 million on close to 3,900 screens at 3,222 locations. That was a bit behind the first day of last September's top thriller The Town ($8.3 million), but higher than The Adjustment Bureau ($6.7 million).

In second place, The Help continued its hearty run, easing 26 percent from last Friday to an estimated $2.7 million. The book adaptation's tally grew to $131.1 million in 31 days.

Warrior lacked punch in its debut, drawing an estimated $1.8 million on nearly 2,100 screens at 1,869 locations. That was a lightweight result compared to The Fighter's $3.9 million and Fighting's $4.5 million, among past similar movies.

The Debt took a standard hit, but held better than The American on the same Friday last year. The thriller was off 45 percent to an estimated $1.44 million and has collected $18.5 million in ten days.

Colombiana rounded out the Top Five with an estimated $1.17 million ($26.9 million sum in 15 days), followed closely by Rise of the Planet of the Apes with $1.1 million ($165.1 million sum in 36 days). Both movies slowed 41 percent from last Friday.

Labor Day's dueling horror movies, Apollo 18 and Shark Night 3D, were true to their genre and bled profusely, but they switched places. Shark ranked higher this time with an estimated $1 million (down 64 percent), while Apollo took in an estimated $875,000 (down 69 percent). With more weekday pull, though, Apollo's total was higher than Shark's, $13 million to $12.3 million, respectively.

Meanwhile, Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star was a bust with an estimated $540,000 at 1,500 single-screen locations, ranking 12th. No number was available for Creature's opening at 1,507 locations.

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Forecast: 'Contagion' to Grip the Box Office

Related Chart:

• Grosses for Friday, September 9, 2011