Steven Soderbergh's 'Contagion' follows at #2, with Ryan Gosling vehicle 'Drive' at #3.
By Ryan J. Downey
What's old was new again as Disney's iconic "The Lion King" became the #1 movie at the box office over the weekend, taking in an estimated $29.3 million with a souped-up 3-D redo of the 1994 original.
"Drive," one of the year's best-reviewed films, was #3 in its weekend debut, while the poorly reviewed remake of "Straw Dogs" and Sarah Jessica Parker's even-worse-reviewed "I Don't Know How She Does It" both flopped in their debuts. Last week's #1 movie, "Contagion," dropped to #2 this week.
"The Lion King" 3-D re-release earned more than the other three new releases combined. The film's original-run, IMAX re-release (back in 2002) and the past weekend's numbers pushed "The Lion King" from #25 to #17 on the all-time domestic box-office chart, according to Box Office Mojo. The animated tale, which has also quite successfully been adapted for Broadway, has made $357.8 million in the United States to date.
Steven Soderbergh's ensemble procedural drama "Contagion" made $14.5 million in its second weekend of release, for a total of $44.2 million. "Drive" took in $11 million, but while the film has set Twitter abuzz in critic circles, it remains to be seen how it will continue to play with a broader audience. "This is one of Ryan Gosling's best performances," Aisle Seat reported.
"The Help" came in at #4 at the box office, adding $6.4 million for a total of $147.3 million. The remake of director Sam Peckinpah's 1971 thriller "Straw Dogs," featuring "True Blood" star Alexander Skarsgård, mustered just $5 million in its debut. "I Don't Know How She Does It" fared even worse with just $4.5 million, which was less than the opening numbers of Parker's last two flops.
Meanwhile, critical darling "Warrior" dropped 47 percent, all the way down to #8, in its second weekend of release with just $2.8 million for a $9.9 million total. "Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star," which is the exact opposite of a critical darling (with a perfect "zero" score on film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes), made a paltry $2.3 million in 10 days after a $380,000 second weekend.
Next weekend's new releases include Taylor Lautner's "Abduction," Brad Pitt's "Moneyball," action ensemble (Statham! Owen! DeNiro!) "Killer Elite" and filmmaker Kevin Smith's "Red State."
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