Box Office: Early Estimates Have Real Steel As An Opening Day TKO

So this is how the box office is shaping up this weekend. With no surprise, Real Steel‘s early estimates look for it to have a mid-$20 million weekend that could break $30 million if the returns for Saturday matinees are higher than originally predicted. The Amblin-inspired release with nods to ’80s relics Rocky and Rock’Em Sock’Em Robots is geared to families and early teens. Audiences venturing to see Hugh Jackman’s aging pugilist help train a sparring bot will undoubtedly take away Dolphin Tale‘s first-place viewers from last weekend. That family film with the A+ CinemaScore rating should finish the weekend with $9 million.

George Clooney’s fourth directorial effort, The Ides of March, is counter-programming for adult couples looking to take a break from the round-the-clock news cycle coverage of the Republican presidential nomination process and watch an R-rated political thriller about a Democratic primary that’s influx with Ryan Gosling starring. If it makes $10 million this weekend, versus its $12.5 million production budget, Sony Pictures will consider that a win. It may not be catching awards buzz as fast as Moneyball (which looks to finish around $7.5 million, and is also a Sony Pictures release), but could be a viable contender for adapted screenplay, with Gosling on the outside looking in, if not the shortlist, for lead acting honors.

Relgious-based Courageous and the cancer dramedy 50/50 will fall in the $5 million range, while audiences have already decided to not venture inside Dream House.

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