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‘Real Steel’ Still Box Office Champ

According to final studio
totals, Hugh Jackman and his robo-slugger narrowly sidestepped a defeat from
the toe-tapping newcomer Footloose,
which was good enough for another top place finish. Meanwhile, continuing a
lackluster trend for its genre, even the notable horror name of The Thing was not enough to crack $10
million. Plus, “that bird watching movie” The
Big Year
let out little more than a peep as it tanked in ninth place.

Retreating by only 40
percent, Real Steel wracked up another $16.3 million following a strong
first-round finish. A lack of similar crowd-pleasing blockbusters entering
theaters made the sci-fi boxing pic an easy choice for audiences. With its
overseas tally added, Real Steel has
already made away with $108 million worldwide.

realsteelpic
Just a foot-length away
from taking the top spot, Footloose had to settle for a decent
second place finish and a $16.1 million gross. In line with the $15.6-million
opening of the last “Step Up” movie and 2004’s You Got Served, Footloose
connected with its target demographic but reached little beyond that. Expect
some solid legs into the fall as just more horror films and mature dramas enter
multiplexes.

Showing nothing has
changed when it comes to fright flicks this year, 80’s remake The
Thing
disappointed with just $8.5 million and an average below $3,000
per theater. A surge of ho-hum scary movies, poor reviews and no starpower left
this arctic-thriller out in the cold in more ways than one.

The Top 10
1. Real
Steel – $16.3M (weekend)…$51.7M (gross)
2. Footloose –
$15.6M…$15.6M
3. The Thing – $8.5M…$8.5M
4. The
Ides of March – $7.1M…$21.8M
5. Dolphin
Tale – $6.2M…$58.6M
6. Moneyball
– $5.5M…$57.7M
7. 50/50
– $4.2M…$24.3M
8. Courageous
– $3.3M…$21.3M
9. The Big Year – $3.3M…$3.3M
10. The
Lion King (in 3D) – $2.8M…$90.5M

The news was better
throughout the top 10 as all sophomore movies held up very well, with the maximum
fall coming in at just 39 percent from five-week-old The Lion King. Acclaimed dramas The
Ides of March, Moneyball
and 50/50
witnessed declines of 32 percent, 27 percent and 25 percent respectively,
proving that quality fare can and will be eaten up when available.

Languishing in ninth
however was the star-studded (but non-event) drama, The Big Year with Owen
Wilson, Jack Black and Steve Martin. Opening to a pathetic $3.3 million (a
near-career low for all three talented comedians), the bird-watching flick was
essentially dumped by Fox who apparently saw the limited appeal of such a
concept when it was too late.

This weekend the box
office was down significantly from 2010 when Jackass 3-D shocked everyone with a colossal $50-million opening weekend take.

As if we needed more subpar
choices, four more movies parade into theaters next weekend lead by the third
installment in the hugely successful haunted house found footage franchise, Paranormal Activity 3, which should
dominate with ease. Slightly behind with a 3,000 screen count is the
ultra-modern update of The Three
Musketeers,
which aims to follow up a successful early overseas launch. Rowan
Atkinson will come back to life in
Johnny English Reborn, which also comes off an
international rollout and is in no way expected to connect with North American
audiences. Last off is The Mighty Macs,
a female-led basketball drama that bounces into just 1,000 theaters. Don’t
expect this one to make a blip on anyone’s radar either. 

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