Mark Wahlberg‘s heist thriller Contraband took the top spot from Paramount’s moneymaker The Devil Inside. Contraband is off to a slow start, but it did manage to best the 3D version of the beloved Disney classic Beauty and the Beast, which took us by surprise, as we thought Beast would definitely take the top spot. Marky Mark’s film brought in $24.1 million, while Beauty and the Beast brought in $18.4 million. The Devil Inside dropped all the way down to No. 6 bringing in only $7.9 million. Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol came in after Beast with $11.5 million; Dolly Parton‘s new musical with Queen Latifah Joyful Noise came in at No. 4 with $11.3 million; and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows rounded out the top 5 with $8.4 million.

Check out the numbers…

  1. Contraband | NEW | Universal | Weekend Gross $24,100,000 | Average Per Theater $8,418 | Total Gross $24,100,000 | Film’s Budget – $25 | Week 1
  2. Beauty and the Beast | NEW | Buena Vista | Weekend Gross $18,490,000 | Average Per Theater $8,418 | Total Gross $18,490,000 | Film’s Budget – N/A | Week 1
  3. Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol | Last Week #2 | Paramount | Weekend Gross $11,500,000 | Average Per Theater $3,437 | Total Gross $186,747,000 | Film’s Budget – $145 | Week 5
  4. Joyful Noise | NEW | Warner Brothers | Weekend Gross $11,345,000 | Average Per Theater $4,148 | Total Gross $24,100,000 | Film’s Budget – $25 | Week 1
  5. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows | Last Week #3 | Warner Brothers | Weekend Gross $8,410,000 | Average Per Theater $2,666 | Total Gross $170,010,000 | Film’s Budget – N/A | Week 5
  6. The Devil Inside | Last Week #1 | Paramount | Weekend Gross $7,900,000 | Average Per Theater $3,097 | Total Gross $46,247,000 | Film’s Budget – $1 | Week 2
  7. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo | Last Week #4 | Sony | Weekend Gross $6,800,000 | Average Per Theater $2,543 | Total Gross $87,981,000 | Film’s Budget – $90 | Week 4
  8. Alvin and the Chipmunks | Last Week #5| FOX | Weekend Gross $5,800,000 | Average Per Theater $2,036 | Total Gross $118,781,000 | Film’s Budget – $75 | Week 5
  9. War Horse | Last Week #6 | Buena Vista | Weekend Gross $5,607,000 | Average Per Theater $1,963 | Total Gross $65,779,000 | Film’s Budget – $66 | Week 4
  10. The Iron Lady | Last Week #26 | Weinstein | Weekend Gross $5,386,000 | Average Per Theater $6,716 | Total Gross $5,974,000 | Film’s Budget – N/A | Week 3

Despite its bad reviews, Contraband (check out our review) took the gold. It seems like audiences were excited to see Wahlberg in action. The action film took $1.5 million overseas bringing its overall total to $25.6 million, which means the film is not in the red.

Meryl Streep won Best Drama Actress at the Golden Globes last night, and this weekend her film The Iron Lady returned for a regular run. The Weinstein picture managed to break into the top ten, making $5.3 million.

What did you watch this first weekend of 2012?