Hugh Jackman hijacked the weekend box office with his rock ’em, sock ’em robot picture, “Reel Steel,” undoubtedly surprising critics who only gave the movie, so-so reviews. Move over George Clooney.
The film grossed $27.3-million in North America, according Walt Disney Pictures.
Clooney’s “The Ides of March,” grossed $10.4 million to finish in second place, a respectable showing given that it was a political drama.
“Real Steel” pulled in an estimated $50 million globally, but comes with a hefty $110 million pricetag. Clooney’s film, in contrast, cost $12.5 million to produce.
Weekend Box Office Gross
- Real Steel
- Ides of March
- Dolphin Tale
- The Lion King (3D)
- Dream House
- What’s Your Number?
“Real Steel’s” appeal should come as no surprise. It had an uplifting theme, plenty of action and some pretty cool robots that are destined to show up in toy stores for Christmas.
In fact, Rock’em Sock’em Robots was a popular toy sold by the Marx company in 1964 that had remarkable similarities to the movie.
The mechanical toy consisted of two plastic robots in a boxing ring. Players manipulated their arms and torsos with joysticks, throwing punches until one of the boxers’ heads popped up.
Mattel reintroduced the game in 2000, so that may have been incentive for both boomers and a younger generation to see the film.
Jackman plays a down-and-out boxing robot trainer who’s trying to make a living in an illegal boxing circuit with a hodge-podge of mechanical fighters.
He runs into money trouble and also must contend with relatives who want custody of his 11-year-old son, Max.
He and Max work out their problems, team up with boxing gym owner Bailey Tallet (Evangeline Lily) and create a winner fighter out of junkyard scraps.
Russian hottie Olga Fonda also appears in the picture.
The action film scored a “rotten” rating of 59 percent among critics on movie Web site rottentomatoes, but viewers gave it a thumb’s up rating of 83 percent, which suggests word-of-mouth advertising will be solid.
“Real Steel is a blast, an unabashed crowd-pleaser that mixes Rocky, Transformers, video games and father-son bonding to great, if corny, effect,” wrote Tom Long in the Detroit News.
Countering that, Mary F. Pols of Time magazine wrote: “The story remains sadly mired in botdom, which leads to some boredom.”
Basically, it’s a guy movie.
“The Ides of March” is about the use of dirty political tricks during a presidential election campaign.
Ryan Gosling stars as a ruthless campaign manager who gets involved in a political scandal that threatens to upend liberal candidate Stephen Meyers (Clooney).
The film has an all star cast that includes, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood.
Critics and Theater-goers both gave it a thumb’s up, receiving 83 percent and 81 percent ratings on rottentomatoes respectively.