Box Office: Moviegoers cut a little loose with ‘Footloose’ at no. 1

27 years and eight months after first encouraging moviegoers to dance in the aisles, Paramount Pictures has introduced a new “Footloose” in hopes of energizing a new generation.  So far, it hasn’t been the party they planned for.  

Craig Brewer’s new “Footloose” debuted Friday with just $5.5 million.  The music-fueled drama should gross anywhere between $16-18 million for the weekend. That’s under the $22-24 million pre-release polling indicated.  It also means Paramount will have to work hard to make the $35 million budgeted drama break even (and that’s not counting the millions the studio spent developing the remake).

Dropping to second place was last weekend’s champ, “Real Steel.”  Hugh Jackman’s latest found another $4.5 million on Friday for $39.9 million in just eight days.  The DreamWorks Studios release is going to have to hope families make “Steel” a must see before “Puss in Boots” debuts in just two weeks.  Passing $100 million domestically seems out of reach at this point.

Another remake, er, prequel, “The Thing,” also failed to light a major fire with moviegoers.  The Universal Pictures horror tale found just $3.2 million on Friday.  At best, “Thing” may finish with $9-10 million for the three-day.  The studio will hope for better results with the comedy “Tower Heist” next month.

Sliding to fourth was “The Ides of March” with another $2.2 million. The $15 million budgeted thriller has found $16.9 million since opening a week ago.  It should pass $20 million by Sunday.

Right behind “Ides” was another Sony Pictures release, “Moneyball.”  The critically acclaimed Brad Pitt drama hit $1.8million and a solid $ 53.9 million so far.  

One of the most peculiar marketing campaigns of the year was the last minute pitch for 20th Century Fox’s “The Big Year.” The David Frankel PG comedy starring Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson arrived with barely a whimper with $1.1 million in over 2,100 theaters.  Fox is no doubt hoping everyone – including the stars – forget about the picture by Monday.  

Look for final weekend estimates tomorrow on HitFix.