Real Steel is box office champ
Real Steel's boxing robots are the undisputed champions at the weekend box office in the US.
The Hugh Jackman movie, set in a near-future when robot fighters have replaced humans in the ring, debuted at number one with 27.3 million US dollars, according to studio estimates.
A DreamWorks release distributed by Disney, Real Steel added 22.1 million dollars in 19 overseas markets for a worldwide total of 49.4 million. The movie casts Jackman as a former boxer reluctantly thrown together with his young son as they turn a junkyard robot into a world-class contender.
George Clooney's political saga The Ides Of March was the runner-up, opening at number two with 10.4 million dollars. The Sony release stars Ryan Gosling as an aide to a presidential candidate (Clooney) caught up in a scandal.
The previous number one movie, the Warner Bros family film Dolphin Tale, slipped to number three with 9.2 million dollars, raising its domestic total to 49.1 million.
Males accounted for two-thirds of the audience for Real Steel, though Jackman's sex appeal and a romantic subplot involving co-star Evangeline Lilly was a draw for women, said Dave Hollis, Disney's head of distribution. The movie brought in a solid mix of couples and parents with children, he said.
"The men might have been more attracted to this idea of boxing robots and the Rock 'Em Sock 'Em part of it. For women, it was more Hugh and the Hugh and Evangeline angle," Hollis said. "For families, it's this father-son story and the somewhat redemptive rise to glory toward the end."