'Karate Kid' wins weekend with $56 million

Remake overwhelms, boosts weak b.o.; 'A-Team' is No. 2

Sony's remake of "The Karate Kid" kicked some life into a previously listless domestic boxoffice with a surprisingly powerful opening weekend estimated at $56 million.

Completing a notable one-two combo, Fox's bigscreen adaptation of "The A-Team" debuted in second place with $26 million -- even if "Kid" did seem to pocket some of the rival actioner's coin. And displaying how a hit movie can spread boxoffice wealth to others, three holdovers marked solid sophomore sessions:

Universal's Russell Brand comedy "Get Him to the Greek" dipped just 43% to ring up $10.1 million in fourth place for $36.5 million in cumulative coin.

Lionsgate's action comedy "Killers" fell a relatively modest 48% to $8.2 million in fifth place, with cume of $30.7 million.

Fox's family laugher "Marmaduke" dropped 48% to $6 million in seventh with a $22.3 million cume.

Only Warner Bros.-distributed "Splice" failed to find second-week traction. The scifi thriller tumbled a big 61% in piecing together just $2.9 million in 10th place for a $13.1 million cume.

Collectively, the weekend top 10 fetched $141.6 million, or 10% more than top performers in the same frame last year, Rentrak said.

Among limited bows, two documentaries rung up impressive sums: "IFC's "Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work" registered $170,580 from solo runs in three markets, or $24,368 per site, and Variance's charter school film "The Lottery" grossed $17,200 from a single New York screen.

Elsewhere in the newly roused artfilm niche, Roadside Attractions drama "Winter's Bone" fetched $75,442 from two New York locations and a pair in L.A. for an auspicious screen average of $21,360. And Sony Classics' period drama "Igor Stravinsky and Coco Chanel" grossed $48,892 from two New York theaters and one in L.A. for a fashionable $16,297 per venue with cume of $153,664 including Canadian coin from prior sessions.

Starring Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan, "Kid" was directed by Harald Zwart ("Pink Panther 2") and remakes a 1984 original that paired Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita in well-known roles of an undisciplined-but-gifted karate student and his insistent teacher. Production costs totaled just $40 million.

"It played so broadly," Sony distribution president Rory Bruer enthused. "We took a beloved title and made it fresh and relevant."

PG-rated "Kid" drew audiences comprised 53% of females, with 45% of patrons family moviegoers. The movie's opening exceeded prerelease projections by at least $20 million, underscoring the difficulty of forecasting family films.

Joe Carnahan ("Smokin' Aces") directed "A-Team" cast including Liam Neeson and Bradley Cooper, with production costs totaling at least $95 million. Like its small-screen predecessor from the 1980s, the movie follows special-ops exploits of a team of military vets seeking to clear their tarnished records.

Rated PG-13, "A-Team" audiences skewed 59% male, with 61% of patrons aged 25 or older.

"We have room for a lot of growth, and we're optimistic that word of mouth will spread among young people who were not familiar with the source material," Fox senior vp Chris Aronson said.

Looking ahead, two pics open wide on Friday: Disney/Pixar's 3D three-quel "Toy Story 3" and Warners comic book-inspired actioner "Jonah Hex." The former targets similar demos as "Kid," but Bruer said he views the Disney pic as an "enhancement to the market" that will help sustain robust theatrical business for other pics.
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