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'Contraband' opens as weekend's top movie

"Contraband" managed to steal the top slot away from competitors at the weekend box office.

The Universal action drama, starring Mark Wahlberg as a reformed smuggler, debuted above expectations at No. 1 with $24 million, while Disney's 3-D rerelease of "Beauty and the Beast" waltzed into the No. 2 position with $18.5 million, The Associated Press reports. Both films helped boost Hollywood's business after a sluggish holiday season.

"It's great to have an uptick in the total box office, and Universal is thrilled that 'Contraband' was the driving force behind that," said Nikki Rocco, head of distribution for the studio. "I think it's a combination of a great marketing campaign, audiences love Mark Wahlberg and [producer] Working Title made a terrific movie, particularly for the cost."

"Joyful Noise," the Warner Bros.' musical comedy starring Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton, opened below expectations with $11.3 million.

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