FROM MTV MOVIES: We wouldn't be surprised by a spike in hand-sanitizer sales over the weekend, considering how many folks saw "Contagion." Filmmaker Stephen Soderbergh's procedural thriller — about a pandemic spread through doorknobs, Blackberries and handshakes — was the #1 movie at the box office, with an estimated $23.1 million debut.
"Contagion" — which stars a remarkable number of Academy Award nominees and winners — Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, Marion Cotillard, John Hawkes, Elliott Gould, Jude Law and Laurence Fishburne — has been a hit with critics, with 82 percent of them reviewing the film favorably, according to Rotten Tomatoes.
"Warrior" also boasted 82 percent on the Tomatometer at press time but was only able to muster a paltry $5.6 million in its debut, landing the mixed-martial arts drama at #3 on the box-office chart. By comparison, "The Fighter" (which critics also loved) took in $12.1 million in its 2010 debut.