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A Box Office K.O. for “Real Steel”

Somewhat reminiscent of the solid opening weekends over the summer,
the Hugh Jackman-led Real Steel
towered over its singular newcomer, The
Ides of March
, with a strong $27.3 million showing.

Real Steel easily capitalized on the respectable star-power
of Hugh Jackman (not to mention giant GCI robotic brawlers) and a mainstream-action-deprived
crowd. Outside of the U.S., the sock em’ bunch won an estimated $22.1 million
from 19 territories, indicating that in following weeks  – domestically and internationally – a
sizeable autumn gross could result.


Mechatronics turned to
political roundtable with The Ides of March, which saw a decent
(if typical) showing for a mature politically-centric thriller with $10.4
million.  Like star/director George
Clooney’s last somber thriller Michael
, a nearly identical opening occurred, but if similar legs result
into awards season, “Ides” will last long into February.

After floating its way to
first place last weekend, the water-bound star of Dolphin Tale
understandably sank to third with a still excellent $9.2 million, off another
low decline of 34 percent. With no new infusions of family fare, Dolphin Tale remains the popular choice
for kids and has grossed a scale shy of $50 million.

The Top Ten

 1. Real Steel – $27.3M (weekend)…$27.3 (gross)
2. The Ides of March – $10.4M…$10.4M
3. Dolphin Tale –

4. Moneyball –

5. 50/50 – $5.5M…$17.3M
6. Courageous –

7. The Lion King (in 3D) –

8. Dream House –

9. What’s Your Number?
–  $3.1M…$10.3M

10. Abduction – $2.9M…$23.4M


Also suffering from the
terrible hardship of longevity in the top five is Moneyball, which clocked in with another slim drop of just 38
percent.  Matching the total gross of a spunky
dolphin, the Brad Pitt-headlined dramedy should continue strong into the fall.

Thankfully, the dreadful
thing that is cancer can go away, but likewise an acclaimed dramedy about said
subject can hold up thanks to word of mouth. Repeating in fifth was 50/50,
which witnessed only a 36 percent drop, good enough for more than a
two-fold return on its slim $8 million budget.

The remainder of the top
ten showed up about as expected, with the cop drama Courageous getting beat
down hard by 50 percent into sixth, as did The
Lion King
which is slowly feeling the effects of its home-theatre
presence, inching its way towards $90 million.

In terms relating to
volume, finally a normal number of films open next week following a rare-lull
in releases after a barrage of sub-par newcomers. The big theater winner for
the October 14 weekend is the remake of Footloose
which trots its way into at least 3,300 spots. Following surprisingly strong
initial word, this toe-tapping musical could beat down this weekend’s mechanical
champ. Next up is another remake of an 80’s staple with The Thing, which boasts atmosphere and a somewhat notable brand. Sadly,
looking at this fall’s string of horror releases, not much of a show is
expected. Last off is the little-promoted, broad, mid-life crisis flick The Big Year with Steve Martin, Jack
Black and Owen Wilson. Essentially being dumped despite its notable star-power.
This must be a stinker.




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