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Weekend Box Office: Did 'Moneyball' Strike Out 'Lion King 3D?'

Moneyball.jpg" style="margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px; margin-top: 5px; margin-bottom: 5px; float: left; width: 300px; height: 195px; " />Last week we saw "The Lion King 3D" take advantage of a fairly weak field to take the #1 spot with a surprising gross for a re-release of a 15-year-old movie. But with a brand new slate of movies out, including another family-friendly film, the question was this: could "Lion King" repeat?

The answer is yes. "The Lion King 3D" took the top spot again in an upset win with $22.1 million in its second weekend, for a drop of only 30% from last week. This is a tremendous performance for a re-release, and it helped make this weekend one for the record books: few times, if any, have there been three movies to earn $20 million in a September weekend.

Right behind "Lion King" was the new release "Moneyball," starring Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill. The feel-good baseball movie has worked to let people know that you don't have to like baseball to like this movie, and that particular PR point seems to have helped it as it grossed a cool $20.7 million, making it the biggest opening for a baseball movie ever.

In third place was "Dolphin Tale," the true story of an injured dolphin who got a mechanical tail (see what they did with the title there?). Surprisingly, "Dolphin Tale" and "The Lion King 3D" didn't hurt each other's grosses too much, as competing family films sometimes do. The movie pulled in about $20.3 million, a testament to a long-play advertising campaign.

What of Taylor Lautner's "Abduction," his first post-"Twilight" film? The action flick managed only $11 million, less than expected, and was clearly hurt by both a lackluster advertising campaign and horrible reviews. Whether or not Taylor Lautner can open a film remains to be seen.

The last big opener of the weekend, "Killer Elite" place fifth with a modest $9.5 million. That's pretty low considering the trio of stars in the action flick: "Killer Elite" stars Jason Statham, Clive Owen and Robert De Niro. However, the film was acquired on the cheap, so it should still make a profit.

  1. "The Lion King 3D" - $22.1 million
  2. "Moneyball" - $20.7 million
  3. "Dolphin Tale" - $20.3 million
  4. "Abduction" - $11 million
  5. "Killer Elite" - $9.5 million