Brad Pitt's latest flick Moneyball hit theaters on Friday and critics came out with favourable reviews. But it could not overtake the 3D revival of 1994 animated favorite “The Lion King” at the weekend box office.
In one of the biggest surprises of the year, the limited release of The Lion King 3D ruled the box office for the second consecutive weekend.
According to Box Office Mojo, the Disney animated classic pulled in $22.1 million this weekend, bringing its cumulative re-release total to $61.7 million, while Moneyball and Dolphin Tale grossed $20.6 million and $20.3 million respectively.
The Lion King is the first re-release to hit the top spot in 15 years. In fact, not since Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi has a re-release fared so well.
Analysts predicted only a modest $14 million gross for the animated cartoon in its first week because of its availability on home video. But it pulled in $29.3 million on the opening weekend alone, far ahead of what pre-release polling indicated.
Of course, this version of The Lion King has a long way to go before it reaches the heights of the 1994 original, which grossed a total of nearly $784 million. According to Box Office Mojo, that total places The Lion King as sixth in the list of the highest-grossing animated movies of all time and the highest in the 1990s.
Brad Pitt's latest flick, Moneyball, in the first week of its release, could only manage to come second. This despite the fact that Moneyball is, arguably, this year's The Social Network -- and not just because Aaron Sorkin has writing credit on both.
The protagonist's outrage against major league baseball's systemic inequities closely mirrors the simmering acrimony between America's haves and have-nots; both problems have an equally simple and an equally improbable solution. And as in The Social Network, the zeitgeist is palpable in spite of the story's stark insularity -- virtually nothing and no one exists outside of the ballpark in Moneyball, but you still feel you have a stake in the outcome.
Los Angeles Times movie critic Kenneth Turan praised Pitt's performance, as well as those of Philip Seymour Hoffman and Jonah Hill.
Aside from Hoffman, he has an ideal foil in an unexpectedly dramatic Jonah Hill, who makes the perfect odd couple complement to Pitt's Beane as the awkward, pudgy Peter Brand - a computer geek who studied economics at Yale but eats baseball statistics for breakfast and ends up as Oakland's assistant general manager, Turan wrote.
Moneyball is one satisfying scene after another - smartly written, superbly acted and realized with an eye for telling detail, wrote Steven Rea of The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Here is a list of the top 5 movies at the box office for the week:
1. The Lion King ($22.1 million)
2. Moneyball ($20.6 million)
3. Dolphin Tale ($20.3 million)
4. Abduction ($11.2 million)
5. Straw Dogs” ($9.5 million)