Real Steel was able to pull off a minor upset this weekend as it was able to hold off Paramount's Footloose to remain in first place. The Disney released DreamWorks film starring Hugh Jackman grossed $16.29 million, which was down a very reasonable 40 percent from last weekend. Midweek grosses had been relativity soft for Reel Steel, but the film picked back up nicely this weekend, especially on Saturday. Real Steel has grossed $51.73 million in ten days of release and is running 5 percent behind the pace of 2008's Eagle Eye (which fell 39 percent in its second weekend).
Internationally, Real Steel grossed $23.3 million from 28 territories. That places the film's international total at $56.6 million and worldwide total at $108.3 million. Going forward Real Steel will need to remain a force internationally given its pricey production and marketing costs.
Footloose had been widely expected to lead this weekend's box office in a fairly close race, but the dance film remake ultimately had to settle for a second place start of $15.56 million. Despite very heavily levels of online chatter, Footloose opened slightly below pre-release expectations. Footloose did carry a modest production budget of $24 million, but the film was marketed fairly heavily for a film of its size and was launched into a very wide 3,549 locations.
Footloose skewed heavily towards female moviegoers (75 percent) and drew in both younger and older moviegoers. The film earned an A rating from CinemaScore and played stronger in the South and Midwest; factors that could point towards the film having better holding power than most dance films. Footloose opened 2 percent softer than the $15.81 million start of last year's Step Up 3D.
Internationally, Footloose grossed $1.7 million from eight foreign territories. That places the film's international total at $3.3 million. The United Kingdom and Ireland were responsible for $0.75 million of the film's international performance this weekend.
Universal's The Thing was off to a much tougher start with a third place debut of $8.49 million. The prequel to the 1982 John Carpenter film of the same name opened a bit below its modest expectations. Even with an empty marketplace for the genre at the moment, The Thing still marked the latest in a long string of disappointing horror films this year. Paramount will hope to reverse that trend this coming weekend with the release of Paranormal Activity 3 on Friday. The Thing opened 28 percent softer than the $11.75 million start of 2005's The Fog and 5 percent ahead of the $8.11 million debut of this year's Fright Night remake.
The Thing opened with $1.5 million from five international territories. Key grosses included $0.59 million in Australia and $0.55 million in France.
After opening on the lower end of expectations last weekend, Sony's The Ides of March held up quite nicely this weekend. The George Clooney directed political thriller starring Clooney and Ryan Gosling was down a healthy 32 percent to claim fourth place with $7.11 million. Good word of mouth is clearly kicking in for the film, while holdovers in general also received an added boost this weekend from the modest grosses delivered by the weekend's three new wide releases. The Ides of March has grossed $21.76 million in ten days, placing it 1 percent ahead of the pace of 2007's Michael Clayton (which had the benefit of one additional week of platform release).
Fox's The Big Year opened in ninth place with a disastrous $3.25 million. The PG comedy starring Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson opened below its already muted expectations. The Big Year was only able to deliver a per-location average of $1,513. The combined star power of the film's cast simply wasn't enough to make up for the tough to sell concept of bird watching and Fox's low-profile marketing campaign.
In platform release, The Skin I Live In was off to a nice start of $223,119. The Pedro Almodóvar directed thriller starring Antonio Banderas earned a per-location average of $37,187 from 6 locations in New York and Los Angeles. The Sony Pictures Classics release will expand into additional markets this Friday, including Chicago, San Diego, San Francisco and Washington D.C.
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