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Early B.O.: ‘Contraband’ jumps into lead

'Beauty and the Beast 3D' tracking for silver with $17 million

Universal’s Mark Wahlberg thriller “Contraband” has an early jump on a trio of weekend newcomers, taking between $6 million and $7 million at the domestic box office, according to early Friday estimates.

Disney’s 3D re-release of 1991’s “Beauty and the Beast” and Warner Bros.’ musical-comedy “Joyful Noise” both opened in the $4 million to $6 million range.

Box office analysts indicated that “Contraband” could wind up with $21 million at 2,862 locations for the three days, and $25 million for the four days over the long Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend. “Beauty and the Beast” looks likely to finish in second with $17 million through Sunday and $22 million through Monday, followed by “Joyful Noise” with $14.5 million for the three days and $17 million for the four.

The Weinstein Co.’s aggressive expansion of “The Iron Lady” to 802 engagements appeared to be headed for a three-day total of $5.5 million and a four-day take of $6.5 million.

Paramount’s second frame of “The Devil Inside,” coming off last weekend’s stunning $33.7 million debut, was off sharply on Friday and headed for an $11 million take for the three day-day frame. Studio’s fifth frame of “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol,” is looking likely to surpass “Devil” with a 35% decline to $13 million for the Friday-Sunday period and wind up the weekend with its domestic cume topping $190 million.

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