Box Office Report: 'Real Steel' Edges Past 'Footloose' to Win Weekend with $16.3 Mil

Walt Disney Pictures

"Footloose" finishes second with $16.1 million; horror pic "The Thing" turns in a soft $8.7 million, Steve Martin-Jack Black-Owen Wilson comedy "The Big Year" bombs with $3.3 million.

Buoyed by strong family business, DreamWorks' Real Steel edged past Craig Brewer's Footloose remake to win the weekend box office race with $16.3 million, compared to $16.1 million for Footloose.

Real Steel finished Sunday with an estimated domestic total of $51.7 million. The news overseas was even better for Real Steel, which took in $23.3 at the international box office for a foreign total of $56.6 million and worldwide cume of $108.3 million.

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Paramount's Footloose, starring Kenny Wormald and Julianne Hough, had looked to finish the weekend at No. 1 after winning the Friday race, but the Disney distributed Real Steel pulled ahead after a 62 percent spike on Saturday thanks to families (Footloose was up 17% from Friday to Saturday).

"The fact that we're appealing to families makes all the difference in this landscape," Disney executive vice president of distribution Dave Hollis said.

Footloose performed in line with Paramount's expectations for the $24 million film. Heading into the weekend, the studio had projected a $15 million to $17 million opening.

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Females flocked to see Footloose, making up 75 percent percent of the audience. The pic, receiving  an A CinemaScore, played best in the Midwest, South and Southeast. Teens turned out in force, with 27 percent of the audience under the age of 18. Women who grew up on the original 1984 film also showed up, with 20 percent of the audience between the ages of 35 and 49. 

"Certainly, this movie will be very successful, and have a great return," said Paramount vice-chairman Rob Moore said, adding that the studio found a way to make the film on a modest budget. "And, based on where it played and the A CinemaScore, we should have a very good multiple."

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Universal's early Halloween entry The Thing opened to No. 3 with $8.7 million, unable to crack $10 million as the studio had hoped for and becoming the latest horror film to disappoint. The Thing received a B- CinemaScore, with males making up 57 percent of the audience.

"It slightly underperformed," said Universal president of distribution Nikki Rocco, noting that the movie is likely to make up ground on DVD.

Fox 2000's Steve Martin-Jack Black-Owen Wilson adult comedy The Big Year was an all-out bomb, coming in No. 9 with $3.3 million. As with The ThingThe Big Year recieved a B- CinemaScore. More than 70% of the audinece was over the age of 25.

The Big Year chronicles a 12-month contest to identify the most species of birds, and cost $28 million to produce.

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"It's a quality fllm with a quality cast and a quality filmmaker, but we missed," Fox president of domestic distribution Bruce Snyder said. "All around, it was a tough weekend."

Domestic box office revenues were down a steep 36% from a year ago, when Paramount's Jackass 3D soared to a $50.4 million opening, and Summit Entertainment's adult action pic Red opened to $21.8 million.

Among holdovers, Sony and Cold Creek Pictures' George Clooney-Ryan Gosling political drama The Ides of March fell only 28 percent in its second weekend to $7.5 million for a 10-day cume of $22 million.

STORY: George Clooney's 'The Ides of March': What the Critics Are Saying

Warner Bros. and Alcon Entertainment's Dolphin Tale rounded out the top five in its fourth weekend, grossing an estimated $6.3 milion for a cume of $58.7 million. The family film fell only 31%.

At the specialty box office, Pedro Almodovar's The Skin I Live In enoyed a good opening, grossing $230,979 from six theaters in New York and Los Angeles for a location average of $38,497.

Domestic Box Office 10/14-10/16

Title/Weeks in Release/Studio/Theater Count/Weekend Total/Cume

1. Real Steel (2), DreamWorks/Disney/3,440, /$16.3 million, $51.7

2. Footloose (1), Paramount/3,549, $16.1 milion

3. The Thing (1), Universal/2,996, $8.7 million

4. The Ides of March (2) Sony/Cold Creek/2,199, $7.5 million, $22. million

5. Dolphin Tale (4) Warner Bros./Alcon/3,286, $6.3 million, $58.7 million

6. Moneyball (4), Sony/2,840, $5.5 million, $57.7 million

7. 50/50 (3), Summit/Mandate/2,391, $4.3 million, $24.3 million

8. Courageous (3), Sony/Sherwood/1,214, $3.4 million, $21.2 million

9. The Big Year (1), Fox/2,150, $3.3 million

10. The Lion King in 3D (5), Disney/1,970, $2.7 million, $90.5 million