Real Steel earned an estimated $8.55 million on Friday, which is double the debut of last October's Secretariat ($4 million) and also a bit ahead of Red ($7.3 million). More impressively, it's the second-best opening day ever for a boxing movie behind Ali's $10.2 million on Christmas Day. Still, it's middle-of-the-road for sci-fi movies and off from I, Robot ($18.1 million) and A.I. Artificial Intelligence ($9.8 million). Real Steel appears in line for an opening just north of $25 million.
Political thriller The Ides of March grossed an estimated $3.45 million, which is a slight improvement from star George Clooney's Michael Clayton ($3.3 million). However, it was a bit off from Ryan Gosling's Drive ($4 million) as well as Clooney's last directorial outing Leatherheads ($4.6 million). The movie now appears poised to finish the weekend in the $10-11 million range.
Yesterday marked the first Friday that Dolphin Tale finished ahead of Moneyball. The movie eased 31 percent to an estimated $2.4 million, which brings its 15-day total to $42.3 million. Moneyball wasn't far behind, falling 42 percent to $2.23 million for a total of $44 million.
50/50 had the best hold among last weekend's new releases. The cancer dramedy declined 38 percent to $1.78 million, and its eight-day total now rests at $13.6 million. Meanwhile, Courageous tumbled 55 percent to $1.4 million. That's much steeper than the second Friday drop of 2008's Fireproof (45 percent), though Courageous has so far made $12.7 million to Fireproof's $9.7 million.
Dream House and What's Your Number? didn't do much to save face on Friday. Dream House plummeted 53 percent to $1.36 million, while What's Your Number? fell 50 percent to $1.03 million. Through eight days the movies have collected $11.4 million and $8.3 million, respectively.