I'm sorry I've been away today -- couldn't be helped -- but tomorrow I'll share my thoughts on My Week With Marilyn and update the Oscar charts.
For now, the weekend box office. It's unfortunate and bizarre to recall this or to type it out loud but the surprisingly solid opening to Hugh Jackman's ridiculous-looking Real Steel is actually not his top non-mutant opening weekend. That honor belongs to Van Helsing of all things.
Box Office (U.S.) Baker's Dozen -actuals
01 REAL STEEL new $27.3
02 IDES OF MARCH new [capsule] $10.4
03 DOLPHIN TALE $9.1 (cum $49)
04 MONEYBALL [review] $7.4 (cum $49.2)
05 50/50 [review] $5.6 (cum $17.4)
06 COURAGEOUS $4.8 (cum $16.1)
07 THE LION KING 3D [review] re-release $4.5 (cum $414.5... $85.9 of that in this rerelease)
08 DREAMHOUSE $4.4 (cum $14.4)
09 WHAT'S YOUR NUMBER? $3.1 (cum $10.3)
10 ABDUCTION [review] $2.8 (cum $23.3)
11 CONTAGION $2.9 (cum $69)
12 KILLER ELITE $2.2 (cum $21.6)
13 THE HELP [review] $2.9 (cum $162.6)
• The Help is on its last legs with a low per screen average now. But what strong legs those were.
• You can tell it's October because the grosses are way down. Despite the typical fall dip family fare is still impervious to seasonal recessions; Real Steel opened big, Dolphin Tale is a hit, and wasn't this Lion King Redux only supposed to play for two weeks?
• Cowboys and Aliens is probably in agony over its gross. Even though the would be blockbuster was a failure in relation to its (very large) budget there's a certain general bragging-rights allowance for all films that crack the magic $100 million mark. C&A's gross currently stands at $99,766,000. But that $244,000 will be hard to bridge when it's only earning $17,000 on weekdays and down to 206 theaters already. Tragedy!
• Drive crossed the $30 million mark so at least it doubled its production budget in theaters, despite not truly catching on. I'm not happy to say that we predicted this but at least the prediction came with a silver lining.
What did you see this weekend? I'm sort of dying to know if anyone of you went ringside for Hugh Jackman... or if most of you campaigned with Clooney & Co in the Oscar Primaries.