Robot flick "Real Steel" wins weekend box office

Sun Oct 9, 2011 2:23pm EDT
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By Lisa Richwine

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Boxing robots clashed with Hollywood titan George Clooney at the weekend movie box office, and the fighting machines came out the winner.

Robot action flick "Real Steel" starring Hugh Jackman topped the domestic box office and rang up $49.4 million in global ticket sales. Clooney's political thriller "Ides of March" finished second.

"Real Steel" brought in an estimated $27.3 million over three days at U.S. and Canadian theaters, distributor Walt Disney Co said Sunday. Ticket sales beat studio forecasts for an opening in the low- to mid-$20 million range.

The film added $22.1 million from 19 international markets, for a combined total of $49.4 million. The movie opened in one-quarter of international markets and will debut more widely in the coming weeks.

"Real Steel" stars Jackman as a father who works with his son to restore a battle-ready robot to fight for a championship. The DreamWorks-produced film cost about $110 million to make and featured giant, remote-controlled robots rather than computer images common in action and sci-fi films.

The movie drew overwhelmingly positive reactions from audiences, said Dave Hollis, Disney's executive vice president for motion picture sales and distribution. The film earned an A on average from filmgoers polled by CinemaScore, and an A+ from those under 25.

About 12 percent of sales, or $3.2 million, came from showings on giant Imax screens.

CLOONEY'S LUCK   Continued...