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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.


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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