Box Office Preview: Hugh Jackman's 'Real Steel' Set to Win Weekend
Shawn Levy's father-son boxing tale Real Steel has a clear shot at the weekend box office crown on the strength of families and fanboys, while the George Clooney-directed political drama Ides of March will rely on older adults.
Conservative estimates show Real Steel -- starring Hugh Jackman -- opening in the $22 million-$25 million range. Disney is distributing the film.
From DreamWorks, the $110 million pic introduces the sport of robot boxing and is set in the near future. Jackman's character, a washed-up fighter, discovers he has an 11-year-old son, and the two bond over a junkyard robot they discover.
The biggest question is whether males under 25 will show up (they've been AWOL from the multiplex in recent months).
Real Steel, rated PG-13, tested best among families in prereleasing screenings. Disney believes Sunday business could be strong, since Monday is the Columbus Day holiday, when 36% of kids are out of school.
Overseas, the DreamWorks pic opens in a handful of major markets, including Mexico, Russia and Australia (Jackman's home country).
In North America, Real Steel opens in 3,440 locations, including Imax theaters. Ides of March goes out in 2,199.
Sony is distributing Ides of March -- starring Clooney, Ryan Gosling and Philip Seymour Hoffman -- for Cross Creek pictures, which fully financed the $12.5 million political thriller.
The well-reviewed Ides of March, set during a presidential campaign, should benefit from its topical subject matter. The film is tracking best among women and men over the age of 25, but Sony expects some younger moviegoers to turn out as well.
At the specialty box office, Emilio Estevez's The Way, starring the director's father, Martin Sheen, opens in 33 locations. The film is being distributing the Producers Distribution Agency.
The Weinstein Co. opens Dirty Girl, starring Juno Temple, in nine locations, while IFC opens sequel Human Centipede 2: Full Sequence in 18.