The box office results for the weekend of October 14th-16th sees a remake trade blows with big-budgeted original for the top spot. And in other remake & original news…two newbies flop hardcore. Here are the studio estimates:

1. Real Steel ($16.3 million)

2. Footloose 2011 ($16.1 million)

3. The Thing 2011 ($8.7 million)

4. The Ides of March ($7.5 million)

5. Dolphin Tale ($6.3 million)

6. Moneyball ($5.5 million)

7. 50/50 ($4.3 million)

8. Courageous ($3.4 million)

9. The Big Year ($3.3 million)

10. The Lion King 3D ($2.7 million)

Analysis

Even though none of the three major releases lit up the charts on their respective opening weekends, Footloose – the ridiculed remake of the 1984 classic – has the best shot of seeing its dance party go on in the weeks ahead. With a production budget of $25 million, along with endless lauds from the lovely critics (who usually piss on any remake), this could show some legs over the next month or so. Fans of the original are now adults (at least by age) and could give this a slight boost during the weekly screenings as opposed to rushing out to theaters on the crowded weekends.

In other remake news, The Thing – a rehash of the 1982 cult favorite; which was actually a remake of the 1951 original – is already on its deathbed. Universal spent $38 million just to produce this in time to release during the appropriate month of all things horror, yet the critically panned flick couldn’t breakthrough the double-figure barrier. This may freeze up in the $20-$25 million bracket during its domestic run in theaters, but considering its getting close to Halloween time; and more anticipated horror products crowd the theater; Universal has another dud on its hand. That studio gets buried in this column more than any other it seems.

The Lion King 3D currently holds the longest streak in the top ten with 5 weeks. Domestically, the re-release in 3D is up to an astonishing $91 million. Even Disney has to be surprised how well this animated treasure performed for today’s technologically spoiled audiences.

Flop Alert: The Big Year. Want to know why? Because 20th Century Fox spent $41 million; hired three comedic gems to star in this bird-brained idea; and forgot it was billing their product as a comedy. Yet no one is laughing. Take all the usual criteria of why a movie fails at the box office (limited promo, stupid concept, etc.) out of the equation. When you hire Steve Martin, Owen Wilson, and Jack Black and know that you’re movie is not a comedy, do not blatantly sell it to the paying public like it is! Once the flock of critics all screamed in unison, “Nothing funny is happening here,” people felt cheated based on the sculpted witty trailer. Next time, just be honest and maybe a few other suckers will show up on the most important weekend from a financial perspective, 20th Century Fox (I swear, I’m not angry).

Sleeper Hit: The Ides of March. By the end of this week, Columbia Pictures’ possible Oscar contender (only for the acting…maybe) will have just about double its $12.5 production budget. Which means the studio probably spent just over that in promo & marketing costs. That being said, the star-studded political drama only dropped 28% from its opening jaunt and should hang around in the top ten for at least another week or two as a nice alternate for the older folks who do not feel the need to rush to the theater within the first seven days of a new release.

Oh and by the way Universal, Dream House just fell out of the top ten. Weren’t you guys the benchmark of horror flicks once upon a time?

This Friday has the “Big Four” genres covered: For comedy, it’s Johnny English Reborn. Those wanting a nice sports drama…The Mighty Macs is there for you. How about an epic-action piece? Welcome The Three Musketeers…in 3D (how many times do we need to see this story played out?). And finally, what a lot of people have been waiting for during this month of horror, Paranormal Activity 3. Reviews will be right here my fellow Shockers.

Report by Joe Belcastro

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By Joe Belcastro

Joe Belcastro is an established movie critic in Tampa, Florida. As a member of the Florida Film Critics Circle, most of his time is spent reviewing upcoming movies. He also covers news pertaining to the film industry, on both a local and national level as well as conducting interviews. To contact Joe Belcastro regarding a story or with general questions about his services, please e-mail him and/or follow him on Twiiter @TheWritingDemon.

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