Weekend Receipts: Real Steel Rocks, Socks Box Office

HughJackmanRealSteel630.jpgHugh Jackman's plummy-eyed posters did not scare off moviegoers (or robot foes) this weekend, as Real Steel toppled all challengers at the box office. The Ides of March comes in for a distant, but respectable #2, and Moneyball and Dolphin Tale continue to hold hands, shut out the rest of the world, and survive on sheer joy.

1. Real Steel

Gross: $27,300,000

Screens: 3,440

Weeks: 1

The robo-joust flick's dominance is just staggering. It makes me think my plan to adapt all American Gladiators events as different robot movies is an amazing business plan. Since Real Steel takes care of The Joust, I'll write up treatments for The Wall, Atlasphere, Assault, Powerball, and The Eliminator. Holy crap, a robo version of Powerball sounds fantastic. Gemini and Nitro will play evil cyborgs who hoard soccer balls in dystopian thunderdome setting. I'm suddenly serious about this.

2. The Ides of March

Gross: $10,400,000

Screens: 2,199

Weeks: 1

A pretty expected opening for George Clooney's political thriller, all in all, and I bet it'll stick around on our tally throughout awards season thanks to positive word of mouth. It's just a few pennies away from earning back its entire budget. Though it didn't defeat the robot Armageddon of Real Steel, it remains a laudable success.

3. Dolphin Tale

Gross: $9,160,000 ($49,070,000)

Screens: 3,478

Weeks: 3

Very good, Harry Connick Jr., you have a verified hit on your hands. But that doesn't mean you didn't traumatize me with your performance in Copycat, a feat for which you can never be forgiven. You know you're an effective serial killer when you're more fearsome than Sigourney Weaver's panic attack and Holly Hunter's Holly Hunterisms.

4. Moneyball

Gross: $7,500,000 ($49,253,000)

Screens: 3,018

Weeks: 3

Moneyball must be BFFs with Dolphin Tale, because they've clearly made a pact to garner the exact same revenue. Maybe Moneyball is Dolphin Tale's trainer? Brad Pitt is a shoo-in for an Academy nod, though the threat of George Clooney in The Descendants is formidable. Though, wait: Pitt's never won before. Is his win a Bullock-ian inevitability?

5. 50/50

Gross: $5,500,000 ($17,300,000)

Screens: 2,479

Weeks: 2

Cancer does not give a terribly memorable performance in 50/50, but the film itself is a touching little trifle. Joseph Gordon-Levitt's unassuming protagonism is becoming a real box office draw. In fact, his success here makes me not want to see The Dark Knight Rises, because I think he should stick to mumbly, self-deprecating comedy. Pull back, Jo-GLev!

6. Courageous

Gross: $4,600,000 ($15,892,000)

Screens: 1,161

Weeks: 2

I guess I'll never underestimate the power of Christian-tinged dramas ever again: Courageous is easily the sleeper hit of the season. For a $1 million budget, it's profits are pretty astounding. The shock of Fireproof's strong intake has turned into a bankable formula. Time to genuflect.

Weekend Box Office [Box Office Mojo]