Dismal Weekend at the Box Office

Turns out nobody was interested in seeing a comedy about birdwatching.

Posted: 10/17/2011 05:22 AM EDT

(Photo: Courtesy Dreamworks)

Well, this can't be good for studio executives' private jet allowances and expense accounts. Box office numbers from the weekend are in, and they're not looking good. Numbers overall are down 36% from the same weekend last year says the Hollywood Reporter, with no clear winners except maybe Real Steel, the robot boxing family comedy that squeezed another $16.3 million out of moviegoers pockets and held on to the number one spot — barely.

While Hollywood tries to figure out what people are doing instead of going to the movies, let's look at the post-mortem:

Footloose, which opened this weekend to fairly negative reviews and low expectations, came in at number two and pulled in $16.1 million, just barely loosing out to Real Steel.

Another new release, The Thing, a remake of John Carpenter's classic horror film, (which itself was a remake of the 1951 original) defied conventional wisdom that horror films always hit a home run by earning an utterly disappointing $8.5 million.

But that's nowhere near as disappointing — and that's putting it mildly — as adult comedy The Big Year, which all-out bombed at $3.3 million. And that's with a cast that includes comedy heavyweights Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson. Perhaps lackluster ticket sales had something to do with the basic premise: "Three avid bird watchers compete to spot the rarest birds in North America at a prestigious annual event." Yeah.

Hopefully the buzz around the highly-anticipated Paranormal Activity 3 and timely Wall Street thriller Margin Call will revive things next week.

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