Boxing robots and Hugh Jackman.
Real Steel was just what this fall of box-office flops needed.
It's true, Hollywood did need a new movie that didn't bust, and Real Steel didn't bust.
The $110 million rock-'em, sock-'em saga debuted with nearly $50 million worldwide, including $27.3 million domestically, tops for the weekend.
The overall gross was respectable; it was not, however, big enough to supplant The Lion King rerelease as the season's supreme box-office power.
For Jackman, Real Steel marks a step up from almost all of his non-X-Men movies. Only Van Helsing, of that group, debuted bigger.
Elsewhere, George Clooney's grown-up movie, The Ides of March, had the kind of opening George Clooney grown-up movies usually have, which is to say it did all right, all grown-up things considered. For busy costar Ryan Gosling, The Ides of March was his smallest-opening movie of the past three months, although Ides grossed more per theater than Drive did.
Among the holdovers, Dolphin Tale, last weekend's surprise No. 1 movie, dropped to third, but kept on doing its thing. Much the same could be said of Brad Pitt's Moneyball. After three weekends, each movie is at about $50 million domestically.
In its second weekend, Seth Rogen's and Joseph Gordon-Levitt's 50/50 held on OK. The $8 million buddy-cancer flick is now at $17.3 million overall.
Contagion was out of of the Top 10 after a month-long run. The movie's performance is subject to debate. At $76 million worldwide, per Box Office Mojo, did the $60 million movie do only so-so considering its all-star cast, or did it do great considering its sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, stuffy-head, fever so-you-can't-rest-at-night-thinking-about-it plot?
Killer Elite, meanwhile, is an outright bomb. The $70 million Jason Statham movie, out of the Top 10 after only a two-weekend stay, is at just about $30 million worldwide.
Here's a complete look at the weekend's top movies, per Friday-Sunday estimates as compiled by Exhibitor Relations: