In Theaters: 'Contraband', 'Joyful Noise', 'Beauty and the Beast'

Posted 9:44 PM January 12th, 2012 by Binh Ngo

Mark Wahlberg in Contraband
Unlike last weekend where the only wide release was The Devil Inside (what a surprise that was), we have three this time: Contraband, Joyful Noise, and the 3D re-release of Beauty and the Beast. How do critics rate these movies and how will they perform at the box office?

Let's start off with Contraband, which stars Mark Wahlberg, Kate Beckinsale, and Giovanni Ribisi. Wahlberg plays a former hoodlum who had straighten out his life but has to pull off one last job smuggling greenbacks to help out his wife's brother. Ribisi will be remembered for his voice here.

With a Tomatometer of 48% on RottenTomatoes, Contraband is not exactly one of Mark Wahlberg's best, but it's no Max Payne (16%) either. That said, Contraband is projected to make somewhere between $16-$21.5 million at the box office this Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend.

In Joyful Noise, Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton must team up to help their church choir win a national championship. There's also a side story about a budding romance between an interracial couple who have to overcome some challenges of their own.

Yeah, the critics didn't think the story is that original either. With only 40% on the Tomatomater, the music is the only thing that saved the score from being lower. Joyful Noise is projected to make between $12-$15.5 million this weekend.

An oldie but a goodie, Beauty and the Beast is the second Disney animated movie, after The Lion King, to went through the 3D transmogrifier. Besides the 3D, the movie is pretty much left unchanged. It's a great chance to revisit a classic, if one can handle the 3D without a headache, that is. The movie currently has a Tomatometer of 91%.

With a total lifetime gross of $377 million, this 3D version of Beauty and the Beast may push that number pass the $400 million mark. For comparison, the 3D re-release of The Lion King made $94 million for Disney. The movie is projected to make between $17.5-$20 million this weekend.

Last weekend's box office champ, The Devil Inside, is projected to make somewhere between $10-$14 million.

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