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Whisper Numbers: Footloose dances off against Real Steel.

The weekend box office flashes back to the 1980s once again with two titles taken from the Reagan era. Paramount remakes the 1984 film Footloose [FTLOS] starring Kevin Bacon and featuring a hit soundtrack. Newcomer Kenny Wormald and Dancing with the Stars’s Julianne Hough [JHOUG] take center stage in the PG-13 rated film targeted at teens who have turned out for dance-centric films such as the Step Up series. The film may also draw from older women nostalgic for the original. Paramount has screened the film heavily to generate buzz, and the feedback has been positive. Serving up 3549 theaters, Footloose could cut loose with about $17 million.

Real Steel [RSTEL] successfully drew from all demographics with its blend of CG boxing robots and crowd-pleasing storytelling. With not much competition for family-friendly fares, Real Steel may decline around 40% and score another $16 million in its second weekend.

The Thing [THING] is a prequel to the John Carpenter-directed 1982 horror film with the same name. Mary Elizabeth Winstead [MEWIN] leads the cast, which lacks any starpower. The R-rated horror film looks to attract mostly male genre fans. Reviews have been mixed, which would keep others away. Opening in 2997 theaters, The Thing could thaw out $13 million.

Steve Martin [SMART], Owen Wilson [OWILS] and Jack Black [JBLAC] team up for the PG-rated comedy The Big Year [BIGYR]. Fox apparently doesn’t think there is an audience for a movie about bird watching, so the storyline is completely absent from the marketing. The vague traveling adventure may attract some older adults, but at just 2149 locations, The Big Year may settle for a small weekend around $8 million.

The political thriller The Ides of March [IDESM] slightly underperformed expectations. The adult target audience should help the film hold 60% of its debut and bring in $6 million.

That’s the whisper from the trading floor.



Tag(s): FTLOS, JHOUG, RSTEL, THING, MEWIN, SMART, OWILS, JBLAC, BIGYR, IDESM

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By Box Office Whisperer on Thursday, October 13, 2011 @ 04:42 PM 2820 views

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