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'Contagion' takes first place at box office

Jude Law appears in a scene from the film 'Contagion.' (Warner Bros. Pictures)

September 12, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
"Contagion" managed to knock out "The Help" and take the No. 1 spot at the box office.

The Steven Soderbergh-directed pandemic thriller earned $23.1 million in its first weekend, exceeding studio estimates.

Despite the big opening weekend for "Contagion," it was a slow weekend at the movies.

"The Help" fell to No. 2 with $8.7 million after being at the top for three weeks in a row.

The mixed-martial arts drama, "Warrior," took the third spot with a $5.6 million debut.

The top 10 movies of the weekend were:

  1. "Contagion," $23.1 million. ($2.1 million international.)
  2. "The Help," $8.7 million.
  3. "Warrior," $5.6 million.
  4. "The Debt," $4.9 million. ($1.5 million international.)
  5. "Colombiana," $4 million.
  6. "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," $3.8 million. ($12.5 million international.)
  7. "Shark Night 3D," $3.5 million. ($500,000 international.)
  8. "Apollo 18," $2.9 million. ($425,000 international.)
  9. "Our Idiot Brother," $2.7 million.
  10. "Spy Kids: All the Time in the World," $2.5 million. ($425,000 international.)

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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