Weekend Receipts: Real Steel Cuts Loose on Footloose

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Kick up your Sunday lose! Real Steel used robot abilities to topple the very well-received Footloose remake at the box office this weekend, though only by a slim margin. The Thing chimes in with a halfway decent showing, and The Big Year's first receipts are... well, un-big. Let's investigate.

1. Real Steel

Gross: $16,304,000 ($51,744,000)

Screens: 3,440

We don't live in a world where fancy-free dance movies can beat robot jousts at the box office, and that saddens me. But Real Steel's staying power makes me think I'm one step closer to realizing my dream of adapting robotic versions of American Gladiators events as standalone movies. You would totally go to see Robo-Atlasphere, right? Tom Hardy as Nitro? Come now.

2. Footloose

Gross: $16,100,000

Screens: 3,549

Let's give Kenny Wormald a hand, because he's damn fun alongside up-and-comer Julianne Hough in this jam. Does this mean we'll be seeing truly old-school dance movies like Beach Blanket Bingo in the remake hopper soon? Let's see Emma Roberts do the swim!

3. The Thing

Gross: $8,700,000

Screens: 2,996

Ah, cheap horror: a glorious American landmark. It finished third, yes, but The Thing more than earned back its budget this weekend. Which reminds me: Was I the only person that pretty much totally enjoyed Scream 4? Did you know that it took in close to $100 million at the box office? Don't ask why I have Emma Roberts on the brain this morning.

4. The Ides of March

Gross: $7,500,000 ($22,154,000)

Screens: 2,199

George Clooney's admirable, if somewhat surface political thriller features a handful of great characters (and one dubious character in the form of Evan Rachel Wood), and looks like it's going to finish its box office tally somewhere between the triumph of Good Night and Good Luck and the resounding disappointment of Leatherheads. Kind of appropriate for this middle-of-the-pack, 2-and-a-half-star feature.

5. Dolphin Tale

Gross: $6,345,000 ($58,672,000)

Screens: 3,286

Somewhere, the original Flipper is smoking a Winston and squawking angrily about how pandering dolphin pictures have become.

6. Moneyball

Gross: $5,500,000 ($57,712,000)

Screens: 2,840

I see the agreement Moneyball made with Dolphin Tale to gross the exact same numbers is holding up. I wonder if Billy Beane wrote out the agreement himself as his zaftig associate crunched the numbers in a bookish tizzy. Now, let's skip past a couple of unremarkable players at this weekend's cineplex to locate the single most disappointing newcomer of the week.

9. The Big Year

Gross: $3,325,000

Screens: 2,150

Yow. The Big Year finished behind 50/50 and Courageous -- two small movies that aren't even trying anymore -- to drum up that low, low number. I consider this a depressing moment for Steve Martin, Jack Black, and Owen Wilson, and a very minor slip in amazingness for Movieline's untouchable BFF Anjelica Huston.

Box Office weekend chart [Box Office Mojo]