Icelandic-directed film Contraband enjoys excellent opening weekend

Contraband, the new Hollywood movie by Icelandic director Baltasar Kormákur, was this weekend’s highest grossing film in the USA, if initial figures are accurate.

According to initial figures from Contraband took USD 24 million in its first weekend in cinemas; which is not far short of ISK 3 billion.

The film is an English-language remake of the Icelandic film Reykjavík-Rotterdam, which was directed by Óskar Jónasson and produced by and starring Baltasar Kormákur. Contraband stars Mark Wahlberg and Kate Beckinsale and was premièred in the USA on Friday, taking USD 8.7 million on its first day.

Contraband has received mixed reviews from critics; but that does not appear to have impacted upon ticket sales. Critics’ general opinion seems to be that it is good for a January thriller movie and keeps the viewer engaged; but that it is not especially memorable or original. According to, Contraband grossed USD 24 million over the weekend, beating number two film Beauty and the Beast by USD 2.5 million. The next highest grossing film of the weekend was Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol on USD 11.5 million.

According to the figures so far, Contraband has already covered its expected production costs of USD 25 million. But the film’s actual cost to produce was reportedly closer to USD 41 million. There are, however, great hopes that it will cover its costs very quickly, and much more besides, based on its excellent first weekend, Ví reported.

According to later figures reported by RÚV the weekend gross figures for Contraband might be closer to USD 28 million and are an all-time record for Working Title Productions; bumping Notting Hill (1999) into second place.