1. "Real Steel" $16,304,000 ($51,744,000)
2. "Footloose" $16,100,000 ($16,100,000)
3. "The Thing" $8,700,000 ($8,700,000)
4. "The Ides of March" $7,500,000 ($22,154,000)
5. "Dolphin Tale" $6,354,000 ($58,672,000)
First Place. Remember this time well, people: It will be that brief time in human history in which there is only one "Real Steel" movie. The robot boxing movie won the box office for the second consecutive week, and now that they've got the formula and the brand name down, we're going to see fighting robot movies with impish, cherubic children until the end of time. Actually, they'll screw up the franchise by the fourth installment, requiring a reboot in about a decade. And then it'll all start over again, and it'll be remade in 20 years and everyone will complain about how Hollywood has no original ideas.
YOU FLOPPED. The true biggest loser of the weekend will likely end up being "The Thing," a somewhat pricey remake that couldn't even reach $10 million. But that mess is distracted by the carnage of "The Big Year," which only made $3.3 million despite having Steve Martin, Owen Wilson and Jack Black. That's less than Christian movie "Courageous" made in its third weekend out, on about 1,000 fewer screens. This is probably the worst "wide" opening of the year so far.
Impressive Bridesmaid. That there were enough people who wanted to see a remake of "Footloose" to bring in a $16 million opening weekend should be pleasing to those involved, but Paramount had been hoping for/expecting so much more. It looks like it'll settle in at about $60 million or so, which means we won't have a sequel or people complaining about the remake in 20 years.
Tiny Dancer. Almodovar! The Whatever Spanish-For-"Auteur" is watched his new film earn the best per-screen averages since "The Tree of Life" back in May. OK, well, he probably wasn't watching, but having Antonio Banderas around clearly helped. Also, the $18,216 that "Trespass" "earned" makes it highly unlikely Joel Schumacher will be directing Nicolas Cage in any "Batman" sequels. (This was unlikely before, mind you.)
Next Week's Contestants. Two wide releases, and two semi-wide ones. Wide: "Paranormal Activity 3," a series that's already starting to feel exhausting, and "The Three Musketeers," a movie we're still kind of bewildered was ever made. Also, two smaller wides, with "Johnny English Reborn" and "The Mighty Macs." That last one is not about Steve Jobs, so stop asking us that.