Weekend Box Office: September 23-25, 2011

1. The Lion King (in 3D) – $21,929,332

2. Moneyball – $19,501,302

3. Dolphin Tale – $19,152,401

4. Abduction – $10,925,252

5. Killer Elite – $9,350,000

6. Contagion – $8,451,226

7. Drive – $5,763,998

8. The Help – $4,370,051

9. Straw Dogs (2011) – $2,051,333

10. I Don’t Know How She Does It – $2,002,040

It looks like that damn Lion King remains king of the box office, taking in $21.9 million this weekend, which leaves it in first place for the second week in a row. Since being re-released, The Lion King has brought in $61.4 million. That is an incredible amount of money for a film that’s been on DVD and VHS forever, with a Blu-ray release scheduled for October 4th. I guess parents feel the need to introduce their kids to a “classic” while most young adults want to re-live the glory days when animated films were drawn with a hand and not a computer. I never cared for The Lion King, it’s honestly one of my least favorite Disney films, but I can see its appeal.

Brad Pitt‘s Moneyball did the best of the new releases, taking in a respectable $19.5 million for the weekend. Moneyball was actually tracking higher on Friday, but it looks like it didn’t hold well on Saturday and Sunday. That’s not really a big deal though because Moneyball is the second best start ever for a baseball movie. I thought the film was good (read my review here), but not amazing. I don’t think it really deserves any Oscar buzz, but it’s worth seeing at least once, especially if you’re a fan of the sport.

Dolphin Tale splashed its way into the number 3 spot with $19.1 million. Not bad for an animal/human family interaction piece. Most are surprised with Dolphin Tale‘s numbers since The Lion King; another family friendly film took the top crown. It’ll hold well for the next few weeks.

It looks like Taylor Lautner isn’t the star most thought he would be. Abduction is his first big release outside the Twilight series and it opened with a very soft $10.9 million. Not the greatest numbers for a PG13 action flick, but what did you expect? The film looked like a piece of shit wrapped in more shit. This is a good sign because now they won’t be taking many more big gambles with him as the leading man. Wilson hated the film, check out his review here.

Of the new releases it looks like Killer Elite did to worst, coming in at number 5 with $9.3 million bucks. This is horrible considering the stars. You have Jason Statham, a respectable B movie action star, Clive Owen, the kind of popular, but often times quiet action actor and Robert De Niro, the use to be credible but is now mostly laughable “actor”. All three names plus the plot made Killer Elite sound like a rip off of The Expendables with half the firepower and the audience didn’t react at all. Who is to blame here? The new studio Open Road Films and their horrible marketing or the cast and crew? I’d lean more towards the cast and crew because the film was as flat as a tire on the side of the road. Read my not so positive review here.

Contagion dipped to number 6, with Drive following in number 7. Contagion is already at $57 million with a budget of $60, so it’s in the clear. Drive‘s budget is apparently $15 million and it’s already sitting at $21 million. Good for you Mr. Refn and Mr. Gosling. You guys deserve every single penny the film is making!

As for the rest of the films, all you really need to know is the Straw Dogs remake and I Don’t Know How She Does It are falling at an alarming rate. They barely made the top ten and they will be gone by next week! Thank goodness.

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