Bloomberg News

‘Real Steel’ Is No. 1 Film Again With Sales of $16.3 Million

October 17, 2011

(Updates with final box-office sales.)

Oct. 17 (Bloomberg) -- The boxing-robot movie “Real Steel” finished atop the box-office rankings in U.S. and Canadian theaters for a second week, generating $16.3 million in receipts for DreamWorks SKG Inc. and Walt Disney Co.

“Footloose,” an update of the 1984 hit, was second in its debut with $15.6 million, researcher Hollywood.com Box-Office said today in an e-mailed statement.

Disney is fourth among studios this year with $1.07 billion in ticket sales, trailing first-place Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros. with $1.49 billion, according to researcher Box Office Mojo. “Real Steel” is Disney’s ninth No. 1 film this year.

“The word of mouth for ‘Real Steel’ has been pretty good, and it attracted more women than ‘Footloose’ attracted men,” said Gitesh Pandya, editor of boxofficeguru.com in New York.

Inspired by Richard Matheson’s short story, “Real Steel” stars Hugh Jackman as an absentee father who trains robots for the ring. The visual effects-laden movie, with Steven Spielberg as executive producer, has taken in $51.7 million since it opened on Oct. 7.

“Footloose,” from Viacom Inc.’s Paramount Pictures, cost $30 million to make, according to IMDB.com and was expected to take in $18 million, the estimate of Boxoffice.com.

‘Footloose’ Remake

The picture tells the story of a big-city teenager, played by Kenny Wormald, who is exceptionally skilled at dancing. He moves to a small town where the local preacher discourages dancing. The original film, featuring Kevin Bacon as the disruptive newcomer, cost $8.2 million and generated $80 million in domestic ticket sales, according to Box Office Mojo.

“It’s a moderately good opening for a film that didn’t really have a whole lot of excitement with the male audience,” Pandya said. “It’s not an expensive movie, so between this and later on DVD, they should be OK on this financially.”

Finishing third in its debut was “The Thing” from Comcast Corp.’s Universal Pictures, with $8.5 million. The movie is a prequel to the 1982 John Carpenter film about scientists on a remote expedition who encounter an alien being. Carpenter’s version was itself inspired by the 1951 black-and-white release “The Thing From Another World,” which followed a similar storyline.

The new film, made for about $35 million, stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Joel Edgerton.

Clooney’s ‘Ides’

The political thriller “The Ides of March” fell to fourth from second with $7.1 million.

The movie features Ryan Gosling as the idealistic press secretary to a governor, played by George Clooney, who aspires to be president. Paul Giamatti, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Evan Rachel Wood co-star. Clooney is the director. The film from Sony Corp.’s Columbia Pictures has taken in $21.8 million since it opened, according to Hollywood.com.

“Dolphin Tale,” based on the true story of a dolphin whose tail was amputated after becoming entangled in a crab trap, was fifth with $6.2 million for Warner Bros. The film stars Harry Connick Jr. and Morgan Freeman and has taken in $58.6 million since its release.

Also making a debut this week was “The Big Year” from News Corp.’s 20th Century Fox, coming in ninth with $3.3 million. It stars Owen Wilson, Jack Black and Steve Martin as bird-watchers who compete to spot the rarest birds.

Weekend revenue for the top 12 films fell 36 percent to $77 million from a year earlier, Hollywood.com said. Domestic box- office receipts this year have declined 3.8 percent to $8.23 billion. Attendance is down 5.8 percent.

The amounts below are based on actual ticket sales for Oct. 14 through today.

--With assistance from Dan Hart in Washington. Editors: Niamh Ring, Dennis Fitzgerald, Sylvia Wier

To contact the reporters on this story: Michael White in Los Angeles at mwhite8@bloomberg.net; Alexis Leondis in New York aleondis@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net


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