*(Via the Hollywood Reporter) – The domestic box office is enjoying good traffic over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, with Universal’s action-thriller Contraband easily taking the lead (as of Sunday morning 01-15-12).
Starring Mark Wahlberg and Kate Beckinsale, Contraband is exepcted to gross $28.4 million for the four-day weekend, following a three-day gross of $24.1 million (official four day numbers will be reported Monday morning).
“Contraband” and Disney’s 3D re-release of “Beauty and the Beast” are both overperforming, helping to boost total box office revenues up over last year.
“Beauty and the Beast,” coming in No. 2, is anticipating a four day gross of $24.7 million. Its three day gross is $18.5 million, already the best January opening for an animated film. Hoodwinked! was the previous record-holder, grossing $16.9 million over the four-day MLK weekend in 2006.
The weekend’s third new entry, Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton muscial comedy “Joyful Noise,” should post a four-day gross of $14 million to $14.5 million. Its three day gross is $11.3 million.
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