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October 17, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

There was another photo finish at the box office again this weekend. Preliminary estimates put the second week of Disney/DreamWorks’s Real Steel in the lead with $16.3 million, with Paramount’s Footloose close behind with $16.1 million. But there was a strong possibility that those two films could switch positions when the final tally is announced on Monday. In fact, Footloose led slightly in actual ticket sales for Friday and Saturday, but the studios obviously concluded that on a Sunday, with its usual turnout of big family crowds, Real Steelwould sell more tickets than a musical romcom whose primary audience on Friday and Saturday turned out to be mostly older women. In any case, Real Steel claimed only a pyrrhic victory. The film has a long way to go before it can break even on its original cost of about $125 million. Two other films that opened wide over the weekend sold far fewer tickets than even the low projections of box-office forecasters. Universal’s remake (or prequel) of The Thing, wound up with and estimated $8.7 million to come in third. And 20th Century Fox’s star-studded The Big Year turned out to be The Big Bust as it earned just around $3.3 million in its debut to place ninth. Meanwhile, the fourth weekend of Disney’s The Lion King clawed its way into the top ten with $2.7 million although it was playing in only a third of the number of theaters showing Footloose.

The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Box Office Mojo:
1. Real Steel, $16.3 million; 2. Footloose, $16.1 million; 3. The Thing, $8.7 million ($1.5 million; 4. The Ides of March, $7.5 million; 5. Dolphin Tale, $6.3 million; 6. Moneyball, $5.5 million; 7. 50/50, $4.3 million; 8. Courageous, $3.4 million; 9. The Big Year, $3.3 million; 10. The Lion King, $2.7 million.

Final Figures for the Top Five Films

1. Real Steel, $16,291,655
2. Footloose, $15,556,113
3. The Thing, $8,493,665
4. Ides of March, $7,108,846
5. Moneyball, $6,233,185