Video: 'Karate Kid' kicks its way to the top

  1. Closed captioning of: 'Karate Kid' kicks its way to the top

    >>> activity. the remake of the popular classic karate kid " is making big moves at the box office this weekend.

    >> it's a lifetime. it requires great focus.

    >> how great focus?

    >> your focus needs more focus.

    >> joining me now is the correspondent for nbc's new york nonstop and founder of nonsociety.com. so it's doing pretty well, right?

    >> yes. well, this is the weekend of the 1 1980s nostalgia and of course the star of this jaden smith was not even a gleam in his father's eye when it came out 26 years ago and actually did quite well. $90.8 million. they thought let's bring it back. now what they changed, it was shot in china. the original actually was done in l.a. they changed it from karate to kung fu because karate is a japanese sport and kung fu is in china. and, of course, you know, will smith 's son has all of his father's charm and his mother, too, of course, jada pinkett smith 's son as well, and he originally starred in 2006 "the pursuit of happiness" with will. will puts all his kids in movies.

    >> he teaches them what he knows, too. he is just rocking. he's great.

    >> he's adorable. i was laughing because ashton kutcher tweeted when i grow up i want to be jaden smith .

    >> and his high kicks , that's amazing. he really trained for this movie.

    >> jackie chan trained him for three months and of course he was going on and on about how he will be the next action star and i wouldn't be surprised. you may see a remake of the remake of the remake. they did three of them in the '80s. this is the first one since then.

    >> being okay, "a-team."

    >>> "the washington post " said it was a thoroughly unnecessary but nonetheless satisfying remake of the '80s series. it has liam knneeson. they're marketing it more and a campi buddy comedy and less as a huge action movie . it should be fairly successful.

    >> another one that you'd think would be successful would be " toy story 3 ."

    >> well, this is the first one since -- i'm sorry, this is the last in the series. i don't know 100% this is the last one but that's what they're saying. now they are running up against the sequel which was even more successful than the first one. it was written by the guy who did "little miss sunshine" and the guy who did "finding knee mo" and " toy story 2 ." it has gorgeous visuals, almost no way that " toy story 3 " with pixar is not going to be a success.

    >> no way. woody, buzz and the gang.

    >> they're saying this is going to be the big summer movie for kids and probably some parents, too.

    >> i'm right there. okay, we'll get more from you lat

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updated 6/18/2010 3:52:12 PM ET 2010-06-18T19:52:12

"The Karate Kid" has won a 1980s showdown at the box office against "The A-Team."

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Sony's remake of 1984's "The Karate Kid" debuted at No. 1 for the weekend with a whopping $56 million, according to studio estimates Sunday. The big-screen adaptation of the 1980s TV series "The A-Team" came in at less than half that, the 20th Century Fox release opening in second place with $26 million.

After three weekends at No. 1, DreamWorks Animation's "Shrek Forever After" slipped to No. 3 with $15.8 million. The animated hit raised its domestic haul to $210.1 million, becoming the fourth movie released this year to top $200 million.

With a relatively modest production budget of $40 million, "The Karate Kid" far exceeded the studio's expectations. Early on, Sony executives would have been happy if the movie opened to half its $56 million debut weekend, said Rory Bruer, the studio's head of distribution.

Those expectations began to rise once the studio realized it had a crowd-pleaser on its hands, Bruer said.

"It's just an unmitigated grand slam hit," said Bruer, who also worked on distribution for the 1984 version. "I loved the original 'Karate Kid,' but they took this beloved title, and they made it relevant, fresh and absolutely exciting."

The big opening for "The Karate Kid" gave Hollywood a boost after a weak start to the summer season. "Iron Man 2" opened big the first weekend in May, but the box office has lagged since then.

According to box-office tracker Hollywood.com, overall revenues came in at $153 million, up 11 percent from the same weekend last year, when "The Hangover" led with $32.8 million.

"The Karate Kid" stars Jaden Smith as an American boy who moves with his mom to China, where he takes on a bully under the guidance of an unassuming martial-arts master (Jackie Chan).

With his first lead role, 11-year-old Smith had an opening weekend that stacked up well against the track record of his superstar father, Will Smith, who has had only two debuts bigger than "The Karate Kid" ("I Am Legend" at $77.2 million and "Hancock" at $62.6 million). Will Smith and wife Jada Pinkett Smith are producers on "The Karate Kid."

"It's like, 'Who's the biggest star now, dad?'" said Paul Dergarabedian, box-office analyst for Hollywood.com. "It proves the box-office apple doesn't fall far from the money tree in that household."

"The A-Team" features Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper and Jessica Biel in a tale of former Army Rangers trying to clear their names after they are framed for a crime they did not commit.

Chris Aronson, head of distribution for 20th Century Fox, said the momentum of a strong weekend should benefit "The A-Team," which received high marks in exit polls from the under-25 crowd.

"It's good that the industry finally has an up weekend, so it's nice to be a part of that," Aronson said. "We're very optimistic that we're now in an upswing in the business and that we're going to play and play as our word of mouth spreads."

Hollywood looks to build on its momentum next weekend as Pixar Animation goes back to its roots with "Toy Story 3," the latest sequel to the 1995 hit that was the first feature-length computer-animated film.

In limited release, IFC Films' documentary "Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work" opened strongly with $171,500 in seven theaters, for an average of $24,500 per cinema. That compared to a $15,288 average in 3,663 theaters for "The Karate Kid."

Also debuting well in limited release was Roadside Attractions' drama "Winter's Bone," which took in $87,000 in four theaters for a $21,750 average. The top dramatic prize winner at January's Sundance Film Festival, "Winter's Bone" stars Jennifer Lawrence as a teenager desperately searching for her missing father in the backwoods crime culture of the Ozark Mountains.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Hollywood.com. Final figures will be released Monday.

1. "The Karate Kid," $56 million.
2. "The A-Team," $26 million.
3. "Shrek Forever After," $15.8 million.
4. "Get Him to the Greek," $10.1 million.
5. "Killers," $8.2 million.
6. "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time," $6.6 million.
7. "Marmaduke," $6 million.
8. "Sex and the City 2," $5.5 million.
9. "Iron Man 2," $4.6 million.
10. "Splice," $2.9 million.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Photos: June

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    Above: Slideshow (12) Summer movie guide 2010 - June
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