|Contagion caught the No. 1 spot at the box office, inhaling $22.4 million in its first weekend.
The Warner Bros. pandemic thriller starring an A-list cast that includes Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow topped reigning box office champion The Help, which earned $8.9 million in its fifth week, bringing the acclaimed Disney drama's domestic haul to $137.3 million.
Despite the infectious success of Contagion, it was the lowest grossing weekend of the year so far for the film industry, a typical slump for the weekend after Labor Day.
The top five movies at U.S. and Canadian theaters Friday through Sunday, as compiled by Hollywood.com are