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Box Office: ‘Real Steel’ Walks Off As Undisputed Champion

…of the world. Maybe of the entire universe. Who knows what kind of movies or box office receipts they have in the far galaxies? Still, regardless how much money The Sands of WeepWoo makes on planet Brackle, it couldn’t have been stepped up to the how well the giant robots did this weekend. Real Steel didn’t break any box office records. Even for a robot movie, its opening was on the high end but still South of movies like A.I. Artificial Intelligence ($29.3m opening) and Robots ($36m). It did, however, have the biggest opening for a boxing film, topping Rocky IV‘s $19.9m debut from 1985. A nice sized opening like we see hear combined with how crowd-pleasing the film is could prove Real Steel to have some solid longevity.

The Ides of March might have some equally good longevity, not that a film like The Ides of March is looking to break the $100m bank. The George Clooney directed political drama opened to just over double digits, a bit lower than expected but still admirable considering it’s running on star power alone. Opening just above The American President ($10m in 1995) and just below Bulworth ($10.5m in 1998), The Ides of March is looking more towards those golden statues than a black profit. Judging by how little buzz the film is gathering with critics, it might end up with neither.

The rest of the weekend was fairly standard with The Lion King coming out with the biggest drop from the previous weekend. But does that really matter considering how much money the movie has made overall? Disney initially planned to re-release it for only two weeks, a plan that got scrapped as soon as the animated film starting coming it at #1. Expect Beauty and the Beast to have the same level of success when it sees 3-D re-release on January 13th.

The Human Centipede 2: Full Sequence made $54,000 on 18 screens this weekend, a middle-of-the-road $3000 per screen average. Granted, the first Human Centipede made $181,467 domestic, so Tom Six is well on his way to financing Human Centipede 3: The Secret of the Ooze. No, that’s not the official title, but it gives Six something to consider.

Here’s how the weekend broke down:

  1. Real Steel – $27.3m NEW
  2. The Ides of March – $10.4m NEW
  3. Dolphin Tale – $9.1m (-34.2%) $49m total
  4. Moneyball – $7.5m (-37.7%) $49.2m total
  5. 50/50 – $5.5m (-36.4%) $17.3m total
  6. Courageous – $4.6m (-49.5%) $15.8m total
  7. The Lion King in 3D – $4.5m (-57.1%) $$85.9m total
  8. Dream House – $4.5m (-44.6%) $14.5m total
  9. What’s Your Number? – $3m (-43.7%) $10.3m total
  10. Abduction – $2.9m (-48.3%) $23.3m total

And there we have a $79.3m weekend, not as successful as expected but not an abysmal flop, either. The robots weren’t able to break the post-Summer calm waters we’ve been having for the past month and a half try as they might. In fact, the weekend was down from the top 10 last weekend when Dolphin Tale swatted the competition away with its newly acquired prosthetic.

Next weekend doesn’t look to turn things around much, either. We’ll have the start of the October horror season with the prequel to John Carpenter’s The Thing, the Jack Black/Steve Martin/Owen Wilson comedy The Big Year, and Footloose, so expect this week’s Reject Report to have some kind of headline about everybody cutting…in line. Oh, man! That just made me LOL. I’m not even sorry.

We’ll be back on Thursday to see how the weekend is shaping up.

Jeremy's been writing about movies for a good, 15 years, starting with the film review column of his high school newspaper. He stands proud as the first person in his high school to have seen (and recommend) Pulp Fiction. Jeremy went on to get a B.A. in Cinema and Photography with a minor in journalism. His experience and knowledge of film is aided by the list of 6600 films he has seen in his life (so far). Jeremy's belief is that there are no bad films, just unrealized possibilities. Except Batman and Robin. That shit was awful.

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