Far fewer people went to the movies on Sunday than the studios had estimated, final box-office figures revealed. Sunday's estimates, which are based on actual ticket sales for Friday and Saturday but on just an educated guess for Sunday, had each of the top three films grossing more than $20 million, a remarkable occurrence in September, a slow period for the industry. But, as it turned out, only one film did, Disney's reissue of The Lion King , which wound up with $21.9 million. (That figure, too, was below the studio's estimate of $22.1 million.) In ten days, the film, originally re-released to promote the Blu-ray home-video release next week, has taken in an extraordinary $61.5 million. Moneyball, the film most experts had figured to win the weekend, came in second with $19.5 million, edging out Dolphin Tale , which placed third with $19.2 million. Two other new films, Abduction and Killer Elite flopped.
The top ten films over the weekend, according to final figures compiled by Box Office Mojo (figures in parentheses represent total gross to date) 1. The Lion King, Disney, $21,929,332, 2 Wks. ($61,475,402); 2. Moneyball, Sony, $19,501,302, (New); 3. A Dolphin Tale , Warner Bros., $19,152,401, (New); 4. Abduction, Lionsgate, $10,925,253, (New); 5. Killer Elite, Open Road Films, $9,300,000, (New); 6. Contagion, Warner Bros., $8,451,226, 3 Wks. ($57,007,898); 7. Drive, Film District, $5,763,998, 2 Wks. ($21,417,373); 8. The Help, Disney, $4,370,051, 7 Wks. ($154,414,153); 9. Straw Dogs, Sony, $2,051,333, 2 Wks. ($8,835,187); 10. I Don't Know How She Does It , Weinstein Co. $2,002,040, 2 Wks. ($7,968,465). NOTE Open Road Films did not provide an exact sales figure for Killer Elite.