Box office report: 'Real Steel' knocks out 'Footloose', wins weekend with $16.3 million


Image Credit: Disney

A remake, a prequel, and one woefully misguided bird-watching comedy couldn’t take down Hugh Jackman and the robots of Real Steel at the box office this weekend.

Steel punched up an estimated $16.3 million this weekend, marking a healthy 40 percent drop from its $27.3 million debut. As evidenced by the film’s impressive 64 percent boost on Saturday, it appears that Real Steel is playing as an outright family affair, and that sort of appeal will help it achieve small drops in the coming weeks. Still, the $110 million Dreamworks film, which is being distributed by Disney’s Touchstone Pictures, has a very long way to go before it’s in the black. So far, Real Steel has earned $51.7 million in ten days.

Paramount’s $24 million remake Footloose managed to open in second place with $16.1 million, a rather lackluster result. Instead of playing like a hyped-up event movie, Footloose played much more like a typical dance flick. It attracted fewer dance fans than movies like Save the Last Dance (2001, $23.4 million opening) and Step Up (2006, $20.7 million opening), but it performed on the same level as Step Up 3D (2010, $15.8 million opening) and You Got Served (2004, $16.1 million). The film played best with women, who made up 75 percent of the audience, and older moviegoers, who composed 61 percent of the opening weekend crowd. Footloose earned a solid “A” CinemaScore grade, and strong word-of-mouth could help it dance its way out of financial trouble, but it will not be able to match the $80 million total that the original Footloose achieved back in 1984.

In third, Universal’s horror prequel The Thing didn’t scare up many ticket sales this weekend, opening with $8.7 million. The film, which totes a reported $35 million budget, performed below Universal’s expectations, becoming the latest 2011 horror film to not connect with audiences. Movies like Scream 4 ($38.2 million total), The Rite ($33 million), and Priest ($29.1 million) have all struggled at the box office this year. Even Thing star Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s former franchise film, Final Destination 5, performed unremarkably, earning only $42.1 million. The best comparison for The Thing is probably Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, which opened with a similar $8.5 million and finished with $23.2 million. Considering The Thing earned a weak “B-” CinemaScore grade and a sad $2,990 per theater average, that total is about the best it can hope for.


Image Credit: Saeed Adyani

George Clooney’s political thriller The Ides of March held very well in its sophomore weekend, dipping only 28 percent to $7.5 million in fourth place. That decline is far less severe than Clooney’s other recent political flicks, The American and The Men Who Stare At Goats, which dropped by 57 and 54 percent in their second weekends, respectively. Perhaps Clooney has made a political movie that’s a bit more palatable for general audiences—or perhaps it’s just the Ryan Gosling effect. Either way, after ten days, Ides, which cost Sony $12.5 million to produce, has earned $22.2 million. If it keeps up the soft declines, it could become a serious Oscar contender.

Dolphin Tale spent one last weekend in the Top 5, sliding 31 percent to $6.3 million. After four weekend’s Warner Brothers’ surprise 3-D hit has accrued a nice $58.7 million total. Along with Moneyball ($57.7 million after four weeks) and The Lion King 3D ($90.5 million after five), Dolphin Tale is one of the few box office bright spots since The Help.

The weekend’s other new wide release, The Big Year, debuted way back in ninth place with $3.3 million out of 2,150 theaters. Fox spent $41 million on the Jack Black, Steve Martin, Owen Wilson bird-watching collaboration that wasn’t quite a comedy, wasn’t quite a drama, wasn’t quite a competition film, and apparently wasn’t at all enticing for audiences, who gave the picture a “B-” CinemaScore grade. Between the financial failure of The Big Year, and 2006’s Hoot, which opened to $3.4 million out of 3,018 theaters, maybe Hollywood should think twice about the appeal of birds at the box office. They don’t always soar.

In limited release, Pedro Almodovar’s deeply creepy The Skin I Live In got off to a strong start, with $231,000 in six theaters, good for a robust $38,500 per theater average. Internationally, tastes weren’t quite as refined, as The Smurfs finally passed $400 million overseas.

1. Real Steel – $16.3 mil
2. Footloose – $16.1 mil
3. The Thing  – $8.7 mil
4. The Ides of March – $7.5 mil
5. Dolphin Tale – $6.3 mil
6. Moneyball – $5.5 mil
7. 50/50 – $4.3 mil
8. Courageous – $3.4 mi
9. The Big Year – $3.3 mil
10. The Lion King 3D – $2.7 mil

For more box office updates throughout the week, follow Grady on Twitter: @EWGradySmith

Comments (182 total) Add your comment
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  • Cameron J

    The Big Year? Er… *googles *

    Ladies and gentlemen the basis of their marketing campaign

    • The Truth

      This statement about the “Ides of March” saying why the George Clooney starrer had a smaller decline then his other recent movies, cracked me up, “or perhaps it’s just the Ryan Gosling effect”..the Ryan Gosling effect did not seem to help the boxoffice of “Drive’, “Blue Valentine” or “Crazy Stupid Love”..EW really does pick it’s favorites and attemts to shove them down our throats, what a horrible and untruthful spin, crap everytime you click on this page Gosling’s pic is right there, if you need further proof!

      • Gene Shalit

        Given how the talented Mr. Clooney’s latest pictures have been doing, he doesnt have to “beware the Ides of March” anytime soon.

      • haisu

        They would have been wiser to never remake it. I’m glad to see Footloose failed to win the weekend. I hope it continues on a downward spiral..BTW,I wanna share a good news to you.My best friend ,she just has announced her wedding with a millionaire man who is a celebrity !they met via Millionaireloving.C óM is the largest and best club for celebrity and their admirers to chat online.You do not have to be rich or famous. ,but you can meet one , It’s worthy a try,Maybe you wanna check it out or tell your friends!

      • Ed

        I blame this squarely on the fact that we didn’t use Kenny Loggins for the soundtrack again. Nobody wants to listen to this crappy music.

      • Ape

        not only did they not use Kenny Loggins, but they also dissed Bonnie Tyler!

      • Gosling Effect?

        Seriously Grady Smith, can you explain what you mean by “The Ryan Gosling effect” when his last four movies either underperformed (Crazy, Stupid, Love, Blue Valentine), went straight to Pay Cable (All Good Things), or were straight out bombs (Drive), it feels like an agenda, I mean everytime you click on an article for the last couple of months his picture is right there on the side, and here you try to make him sound like an enticement for moviegoers, when clearly the numbers at the boxoffice ay otherwise, what gives?…seriously please give me an answer!

      • Grady Smith

        No special agenda on our part! I was really just making a passing reference to the fact that George Clooney’s last two political movies plummeted and this one didn’t. It was just a joke! :)

        Trust me, you won’t find me arguing that Gosling is a box office draw, but for a very specific, film-buff niche, he does have his fans.

      • Gosling Effect?

        *say otherwise

      • Gosling Effect?

        you will probably take down my comment and not answer, but the statement really made no sense, other than to promote Ryan Gosling!

      • tgh

        All of Gosling’s movies are in the black that are listed above, ‘Drive’, ‘Crazy, Stupid, Love.’, ‘and ‘Blue Valentine’. I think the ‘Gosling Effect’ is just made in reference that there is another star other than just George Clooney in his film. When that is the case, his films almost always do better… But who knows?, maybe EW will censor you and these truth bombs you’re dropping about their love for Gosling.

      • Overhyped Gassbags

        I guess the “Ryan Gossling effect” is sort of like the “Seth Rogen effect” or the Daniel Craig effect” or even the “Sarah Jessica Parker effect”. meaning they are boxoffice poison yet still keep getting hired and hyped yet no one sees the movies they appear in!

      • Gosling Effect?

        “All The Good Things” only made 500 thousand at the boxoffice, and the other 3 were far from being hits, so again I ask what is the Gosling Effect on the boxoffice, other than him being one of EW’s pet projects?

      • mike

        Really really awesome movie i love it

      • TheRealTruth

        Drive has done quite well considering the limeted promotion and marketing it has received. It has also been called one of the best films of the year. Plus women do get all googly eyed over him

      • TheRealTruth

        @GosslingEffect Please explain how Drive was a straight out bomb. It has performed rather well ya clown

      • Gosling Effect?

        @TheRealTruth Director Kevin Smith was on TV today talking about how a film needs to triple it’s budget at the boxoffice just to break even with marketing costs. according to IMDB ‘Drve” cost 15 million to make and grossed 30 million, not even covering what it costs to market the film, (that includes getting it into theaters, newspaper ads, one sheets, etc.)..I am not speaking about the quality of the film ( I heard it was quite good), but it terms of just boxoffice I stand by my assertion that it is a bomb at the boxoffice, and that Ryan Gossling has no effect whatsoever on a Film’s boxoffice earnings, Ok Bozo!

      • Gosling Effect?

        oh and btw since when is “limited” spelled limeted?..and you call me the clown!

      • Gosling Effect?

        Ok Grady thank you for getting back to me, I can accept that it was a!

      • jake

        EW likes to shove lame actors on our throats like taylor laudner, shame on you!

    • sally

      Actually, a lot of critics have said that Footloose is a good movie. I thought it was fun anyway.

      • Tony

        actually the only rave review it got was from EW, otherwise they have they have been lackluster, USA Today hated it!

      • sally

        Check out Aintitcoolnews, they gave it great reviews.

      • Savage

        It sucked. Go home and play with your cats.

      • Savage

        I hate you

      • Savage

        I dislike you

    • LOL

      I rarely agree with critics, now occasionally some of them get it right, like the critic for EW that called Fast Five “pitch perfect.” He was so correct, we need more films like that, that entertain and make you think.

      • Tony

        actually the critic for EW called it “Slick Trash” not “Pitch Perfect” in it’s review, if that was said in a later article. as you have stated before, that would not be a statement from a critic because it was not in a review!

    • Reality

      Fast Five is like Ex-lax gave me the craps, so painful!

    • Cameron J

      Glad to be the host of your bull, LOL. Come back soon, but don’t forget to threaten me!

    • LOL

      Cameron, LOL loves everybody, that’s why I’m here. I would never threaten you. If that happened, it was one of my detractors posting under my name. I am only here to help.

    • Ron Paul

      “THE BIG YEAR” was f*cking beautiful!!!

      • GUS

        I won’t vote for you, but I agree with you about “The Big Year”, the only way it could have been any better if it had the remarkable talent of Julianne Hough in it!

    • DRG

      Define “a lot.” While it has a 72% rating at Rotten Tomatoes, most of those critics are minor ones. Among top critics at RT it only has 53% which qualifies it as rotten. At Meta Critic it has a score of 58 which qualifies there as “mixed or average” reviews.

    • Ron Paul

      I loved “The Big Year” so much I c@me in my pants.

      • Ron Paul

        I had a huge mess to clean up when I got home.

    • LOL

      Yes DRG, Footloose has failed. It is nice to see that my campaign here is continuing to have an effect on the box office. I derailed Green Lantern, 50/50, and now Footloose and The Thing. Of course, I can’t take full credit, thank you to the silent majority that reads my analysis here and rejects the crap. And thank you for making Fast Five a major hit on video as well as at the box office. Hopefully Hollywood will take notice.

    • Ed

      Everyone cut foot loose?

    • Tony

      So what’s the deal EW. you took down my last comment, but leave the literal Crap comment by LOL, up..seems shady, are one of your writer’s actually posting as LOL?

    • Cygnus

      Shame about The Thing. I saw it, and thought it was solid. Most of the same elements as the first, and felt like a smooth transition to the 1982 version. I guess if it suffered from anything, it was it’s lack of bringing anything new or unique to the mythology. However, I felt it did everything else solidly. Not a bad flick.

  • Paris Jade

    I’ve been saying it since 22 June 2010 when they announced the cast for Footloose – they would have been wiser to have cast someone like Shia LaBeouf, Anton Yelchin or Penn Badgley in Footloose instead of Kenny Wormald and this movie would have been No. 1 at the box office and much more critically and commercially successful.

    • MikeyM

      Chase Crawford and a number of others dropped out.
      The Box office has nothing to do with the star they picked and everything to do with people liking crap like Real Steel.

      • Adwina Lambert

        She-crest should have promoted this and her beard non-stop on radio tee-hee!

      • Gene Shalit

        Contrary to the B.O. returns, “Real Steel” was not the “real deal.” How this pic manages to K.O. @ the B.O. I don’t know.

      • LOL

        @Gene — because America loves crap.

      • MesoSoup

        Real Steel was a great film
        The entire world loves crap LOL, but doesn’t it feel good?

    • Asha

      They would have been wiser to never remake it. I’m glad to see Footloose failed to win the weekend. I hope it continues on a downward spiral.

      • Gene Shalit

        You should have “kicked off your Sunday shoes” and gone to see “Footloose” today.

    • Tony

      when is EW going to give up the whole Cinemascore thing, it seems to have nothing to do with a films success at the boxoffice, recent films that have gotten an A or A- have been Warrior, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, Monte Carlo, Water for Elephants and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules, none of hich made any money at the boxoffice, and yet Bad Teacher got a C+ and was a boxoffice winner!

      • Alyssa

        I think the whole money and score thing should be individual. Some movies make alot of money, and are bad- then movies can be great and only be so so. Then there are movies that are great and make alot, and movies that do bad and are bad.

      • Santana

        Mr. Poppers Penguins got an A cinema score? That right there should be enough to tell you something isn’t right!

      • Tony

        @Alyssa the point I was making is that EW always uses Cinemascore as a back up when a film it likes underperforms, the quote in this article was “Footloose earned a solid “A” CinemaScore grade, and strong word-of-mouth could help it dance its way out of financial trouble”..Cinemascore is very unreliable at best, yet it is always quoted!

      • Ed

        If she had exposed her bewbes then Bad Teacher would have gotten an A+

    • Ian

      Nobody with any hopes of having a career would have taken the part. Shia and Yelchin’s agents would have slapped them silly if they even agreed to meet the producers of the steaming pile of footloose. They were never going to get anyone that anyone’s heard of to do that movie.

      • sally

        Really, you’ve never heard of Dennis Quaid or Andie McDowell? Dancing With The Stars is one of the biggest hits on television, so Julianne Hough is very well known. Your comment doesn’t make any sense.

      • Ed

        I just took a gigantic pile of footloose this evening. I feel a summers eve commercial now

  • LOL

    America Hates Birds

    • andy

      nah, just recycled 70’s comedy (Martin) coupled with a one note actor (Black) …the scene of Martin and Black doing Martins endlessly recycled SNL dance was enough to keep me away

      • Ron Paul

        Steve Martin and Jack Black are some of the greatest comic talents of our time, especially Jack Black. I couldnt stop laughing. I was in tears as I walked out of “The Big Year.” How dare you criticize them.

      • Ed

        I asked for a refund when we left both of these movies early. He had my money ready before I even had to ask.

  • Maguire

    Footloose’s Julianne Hough is really gorgeous and very talented. It’s an incredible performance, just wonderful.

    • mark in nyc

      no…not really

    • GUS

      Julianne Hough is better then Meryl Streep, she is the female Brando or Laurence Olivier for this generation, will be remembered for years, she is just perfection..her performance in Footloose is one for the ages!!

      • Leonard Maltin

        She will definitely be nominated for a Golden Globe and an Oscar. I am confient she will win the GG for actess in musical or comedy.

      • Bernice

        Erin W October 17, 2011 at 11:54 am Thank you, Dave & Tara, for hating the oriaingl Footloose along with me. It is SO stupid. Everyone I know has this hazy childhood nostalgia for it. But none of it makes a bit of sense. Why does Lithgow not let his daughter dance or listen to pop music, but she can run around town braless as much as she wants to? Also, whose idea was it to present Kenny Loggins music as a sign of rebellion when the scene two minutes before used (the much edgier, at the time) Van Halen? I know, diegetic music versus non-diegetic music, but still, it fails. All I want to know is, why did anyone ever watch it again after Dirty Dancing came into the world?I’m not ever going to see the remake, but I’m glad you guys enjoyed it!

    • Gene Shalit

      Although I did “cut loose” with “Footloose,” I found the performance of Ms. Hough “rough” to get through.

    • deedeedragons

      Thanks studio plant!

      • Seriously

        They need to dial back their studio plants. These over-the-top postings with outrageous praise just look silly. “One for the ages?” Really?

      • GUS

        Watch the ever talented and beautiful Julianne Hough in “Footloose” playing at a theater near you, and you will agree that her performance is one for the ages, it is just a marvel in the history of acting, just breathtaking, not to be missed!

      • GUS

        they should just award Julianne Hough the academy award and the oscar now for her breathtaking performance in ‘Footloose” playing at a theater near you!

  • Mya

    The battle for number one seems to me to be too close to call. We could have another flipflop tomorrow depending upon how strong Sunday is for Footloose. It was a sell out last night . Regardless of whether it’s number one or number two, its budget was 24 million. So, it is going to be very profitable and it’s going to make Julianne Hough. I wish Derek could get a big movie break. I’m ready for a Derek Hough movie. Anyway, maybe next weekend will scare up some even bigger business. I think Paranormal Activity 3 opens either midnight Thursday or Friday. Then the big guns, films sure to draw in families, start to open. First up- Puss N Boots.

    • Will

      I would not say Footloose is going to be “very profitable.” Yes it’s budget was $24million but that does not include advertising and promotion which they spent a lot on trying to shove the movie down America’s throat. It still has a way to go before it turns a profit.

    • Sean

      I am so sick of the Houghs. They are not all that.

  • Alyssa

    lackluster- HOW? in its first weekend it made 16 million??? The studio estimated less than MEDIA rags. The studio estimated 15-17 million it fell in the middle. They are happy and with the week showings and next weekend it will already surpass its budget. So spin away. I enjoyed it. I still love the original but the remake was very good as well. It joins my short list of good remakes.

    • Alyssa

      meant probably surpass its budget.

    • ArtsBeatLA

      My sentiments precisely. It’s a surprisingly good remake and $16 mill is a healthy first w/end, considering they filmed it for next to nothing.

      People forget Bacon, Singer, Penn, S Jessica Parker and others in orig cast were unknown.

  • sly

    I wouldn’t call that a KO … saw both Real Steal and Footloose and like them bot h for different reasons …

    • Julie

      It’s a KO considering it was Footloose’s opening weekend and Real Steel’s second.

      • Stacy

        You couldn’t pay me enough to watch either of them.

      • MesoSoup

        Thank god I won’t run into that bi tch Stacy when i go see these films…. phew….

  • sam

    This doesn’t surprise me at all. Footloose was a movie that didn’t need to be remade like most of the movies that they are remaking. Write something original. The Planet of the Apes movie was part of the series but was so different from the others that it can stand on its own. Either do that or make a totally new movie, but stop remaking stuff that anybody who wants to see it could just watch the original. It is stupid.

    • aquarius64

      Thank you!! This is just lazy moviemaking all around in this case. From what I’ve seen in the trailers, Footloose 2011 is just Step Up and Stomp the Yard 2.0. I’ll keep my seven bucks.

    • sally

      It opened at number two, and seems to be on track to do well with word of mouth. So it will be a modest box office success, and will do monsterous business on DVD, so really, the filmmakers don’t have anything to worry about.

    • Gene Shalit

      I agree about “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”–I went ape all over it!

  • Jay

    Mmmm, Mary Elizabeth Winstead was not in Final Destination 5, she was in Final Destination 3.

    • Gene Shalit

      Judging by her latest film’s lackluster performance, her “Final Destination” will be the poor house.

  • Kyle

    I really dont think we can blame the film for being an box office loser, it was just very bad marketing by Fox

    • Tony Carlson

      I strongly agree, it is a sweet little movie, it deserved betterr!

    • Ron Paul

      “The Big Year” made 2011 “the big year” for movies, says this film buff.

      • Gene Shalit

        You charlatan!

    • Gene Shalit

      For not marketing “The Big Year” the way it should have been, 20th Century Fox should be called “21st Century Faux”

  • tomm

    There is a God! If Foot was #1, there’d be no end to Studio bragging about how “people like remakes”.

    Maybe now, the g-damed remakes of movies that are just ‘paint by numbers’ will stop.

    • Nathan

      I’d like to believe that but there’s no way they’ll stop with the stupid remakes, it’s just cheaper for the studios to rehash old screenplays instead of paying for fresh ones.

      • John

        the reason they do these dumb remakes is to make money for smaller projects supposedly.

    • sally

      Opening at number two is still quite an achievement, and it has great word of mouth. If all remakes were as good as this one, nobody would have a problem with them.

    • Alyssa

      Want to know what is really sad??- Some independent director is going to try and make ANOTHER ” Halloween”……why, why why? and for $500 – I hope its some bad rumor, but so far its not. People keep trying to ” Out- Halloween” John Carpenter. Not going to happen. Zombie tried to remake both 1&2, they turned out to be garbage.

      • ncoclub

        How about die Hard 5?

  • waya

    People are sick of remakes which is why Footloose and TheThing are failures. Even thouse The Thing says its a prequel, all fans of the original are well aware they wanted to to a remake from the beginning and changed it to “prequel” to quiet Carpenter’s fans. Its stilll a remake and has huge plotholes that don’t match up to the original, and face it, nothing can be scarier than Carpenter’s original The Thing.

    • greg

      Er, you do realize that Carpenter’s “original” film was a remake, right?

      • waya

        The original film of “The Thing” did not follow the story. They basically lifted the title and put it in the Arctic but tht was about it. It was a monster man-in-a suit flick, and pretty bad. Carpenter went back to the original story, “Who Goes There” and was faithful to that , which is why a lot of film buffs write off the 50’s “Thing” and embrace Carpenter’s version.

    • sally

      Footloose was not a failure, it opened a close second, and has great word of mouth. The Thing was a prequel to a remake, and even the’82 remake, even though it’s considered a classic today, was a box office failure at the time. So quality isn’t determined by how much money a movie makes anyway.

      • Ward Anderson

        You obviously don’t work in the industry. “Footloose” was seen as a big disappointment within the industry, and has studio heads feeling embarrassed today. Just sayin’.

    • Dan

      You Idiot!!! I am a THING fan, and was unsure of this prequel/new thing, and it totally exceeded my expectations and become almost a equal rival to the ORIGINAL REMAKE from 1980’s! Pure Gore and almost Unpredictable Story Board. People in the theater were screaming and I dont blame them, some of the stuff was like, man, this reminds me of the 1982 Thing! so shut up and watch it before you judge it!

  • scorpio9094

    The original The Thing made during the 1950’s is a real classic that doesn’t rely on gore or cgi to tell a story about a menace from outer space terrorizing a small isolated group of people.

    • waya

      The 50’s version did not follow the original story. There was nothing about shape shifting which was the whole point of “who Goes There.” The 50’s version was a man in a rubber suit.

      • Channing

        And not just any man, but future Marshal Matt Dillon, James Arness.

    • Marlene

      I don’t agree. Carpenter’s movie is terrifying. The gore just added to the tensioin. The gore didn’t tell the story. The isolation and paranoia did.

  • LOL

    Ha ha ha

  • ace

    in that pic, hugh jackman’s bicep looks bigger than his head.

    • LOL

      America is getting smarter and rejecting some of the crap. Keep working at it, America.

      • an LOL free America!

        LOL, I notice that EW is taking down your crap comments, ha ha!

      • Dan

        Idiot @ LOL,

        If your going to make a intelligent comment, that is not how you do it! Your lack of knowledge does not surprise me you dumb foreigner

    • Ape

      that is not his bicep, he is just happy to see you!

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