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Weekend Box Office: Real Steel Deals Another Knock Out, Footloose Dances Just Behind

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By Chris Kavan - 10/17/11 at 12:07 AM CT

Once again it was a good weekend for boxing robots, only a so-so weekend for remakes and an awful weekend for bird-watching comedies.

The Hugh Jackman Rocky-meets-robots Real Steel was down about 40% from its debut last weekend, but still took the top spot with $16.3 million and bringing its total over the $50 million mark with a $51.7 million total. While it fell a little steeper than last October's Secretariat and Red, it still is turning in a pretty good performance.

Coming in just behind was the remake of Footloose with $16.1 million. That debut was less than similar music/dance movies Stomp the Yard ($21.8 million) and Step Up ($20.7 million). Despite earning a solid "A" rating from a mostly female audience, the remake just wasn't fresh enough to draw in major numbers. While the numbers were mediocre at best, Footloose can take heart it wasn't the most disappointing remake over the weekend.

While The Thing was billed as a prequel, rather than a remake, it was pretty much the same story as John Carpenter's 1982 film. While it took third, the $8.7 million has to be seen as a failure. It couldn't even match the lackluster remakes of The Fog ($11.7 million) and The Stepfather ($11.6 million). I personally think the advertising gave too much away and that audiences that appreciated the original didn't see the need to watch the same movie again with slightly updated effects.

The Thing might have had a weak opening, but it can at least take comfort that it wasn't The Big Year. The trio of Jack Black, Owen Wilson and Steve Martin pulled in a little over $1 million per big name as their film debuted all the way down in 9th place with just $3.3 million. With a muddled premise and pretty terrible marketing, it doesn't surprise me at all. It's not Bucky Larson bad, but The Big Year is obviously a big bust - continuing 20th Century Fox's losing streak following Glee 3D and What's Your Number?

Rounding out the top five this week, The Ides of March held well in its second weekend, dropping 28.4% and taking fourth place with $7.5 million and a $22.1 million total holding better than Michael Clayton (which dipped 37%). Meanwhile, fifth-placed Dolphin Tale was also off a light 30.4% in its fourth weekend. The uplifted family story took in $6.3 million and now stands at $58.6 million, and should wind up doubling its $36 million budget by the time its run is over.

Next week Paranormal Activity 3 hopes the third time is the charm, The Three Musketeers gets a 3D upgrade and Johnny English is reborn (for better or for worse). We'll see if audiences are more receptive this time around.

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