'Contraband' swipes No. 1 spot at box office - Emirates24|7

'Contraband' swipes No. 1 spot at box office

Actor Mark Wahlberg arrives at The Hollywood Foreign Press Association's 2011 Installation Luncheon at Beverly Hills Hotel in 2011 in Beverly Hills, California. Wahlberg's crime drama "Contraband" won the battle for weekend supremacy at North America's box office, beating out a 3D retread of a Disney classic, industry data showed. (AFP)

Mark Wahlberg's crime drama "Contraband" won the battle for weekend supremacy at North America's box office, beating out a 3D retread of a Disney classic, industry data showed Sunday.

The gritty story starring Wahlberg as a former smuggler, who takes one last job trafficking counterfeit bills in order to save his family, earned $24 million in its debut weekend, well ahead of the re-release in 3D of Disney's 1991 smash "Beauty and the Beast," which pulled in $18.5 million.

According to estimates published by Exhibitor Relations, Tom Cruise showed staying power with "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol," which held third spot, earning $11.5 million to take its total to $186.7 million.

Fourth spot belonged to "Joyful Noise," a music fairytale featuring the singer-actor duet of Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah, which rang up $11.3 million in ticket sales.

"Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows" took fifth with $8.4 million, bringing its five-week running total up to $170 million.

Exorcism horror film "The Devil Inside," which topped the box office last weekend, slipped to sixth place with $7.9 million, about $1 million ahead of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," Hollywood's first take on the bestselling Millennium trilogy.

"Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked," the latest in the animated series, chimed in with $5.8 million, followed by Steven Spielberg drama "War Horse," which slipped three notches to ninth with $5.6 million.

Rounding out the top 10 was Meryl Streep channeling Britain's 1980s prime minister Margaret Thatcher in "The Iron Lady," which earned $5.4 million despite showing in fewer than a quarter as many theaters as "Mission: Impossible."

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