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Posted at 10:05 AM ET, 06/14/2010

'Karate Kid' puts box office back on track

By Jen Chaney

Jaden Smith, kicking it in "Karate Kid." (Columbia Pictures)

Remember last week, when it seemed pretty apparent that no one wanted to go to the movies this summer? Well, we take that back. Turns out you are interested, as long as someone in the Will Smith family is starring in an '80s movie remake.

"The Karate Kid" -- the new one starring Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan, minus Daniel-san and Mr. Miyagi -- easily won the weekend with $56 million and also played a key role in putting the summer box office back on track. After a few weeks of slumping sales, this weekend's ticket take resulted in an 11 percent increase in revenue over the comparable weekend last year.

So how come everyone was super-into "The Karate Kid," but not so down with the other big '80s revamp, "The A-Team"? The answer -- and a few more box office nuggets -- follow.

The "Kid" beats the "Team": It's tempting to assume that "The Karate Kid" trumped the performance of "The A-Team" (which made a meager $26 million over the weekend) because reviews of the former film were better than those of the latter. Certainly positive buzz played a role in crane-kicking "Kid" way ahead of the pack. But the family factor was even more important. Box Office Mojo reports that, based on research done by "Karate Kid" distributor Sony Entertainment, parents and their children made up more than 45 percent of the audience for the movie.

In other words, nostalgic Gen X moms and dads wanted to share the wax-on, wax-off experience with their kids, but may have been reluctant to do the same with "The A-Team," which featured lots of 'splosions and a PG-13 rating.

'Shrek' finally falls: The new releases bumped "Shrek Forever After" out of the No. 1 spot, where it had been parked for the previous four weeks. The ogre-in-3D sequel has now amassed $284.3 million worldwide, a figure that still keeps it in fourth place out of the four "Shrek" movies.

'Man' closing in on 'Alice': "Iron Man 2" has collected $299.3 million in North America, a number that brings it closer to surpassing the domestic intake for the No. 1 movie of the year so far: Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland." The "Alice" total stands at $333.7 million; I expect "Iron Man 2" to eventually zoom past that.

If this past weekend was a good one for Hollywood, the next one is expected to be even more lucrative, with "Toy Story 3" opening. Does "Jonah Hex" even stand a chance against the unstoppable force that is Buzz Lightyear? Vote in the poll below and let us know.

By Jen Chaney  | June 14, 2010; 10:05 AM ET
Categories:  Movies, Pop Culture  | Tags:  Box Office, Movies, Summer Movies  
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Oh so YES!!!

80's rock man...

Here's some Karate Kid awesomeness trivia:

Posted by: shlomitandroypethostel | June 14, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

The photo is funnnnnny!

Posted by: jezebel3 | June 14, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Watchin Will Smith put his children in his own productions is like watching a Harvard-Yale heavyweight crew circle jerk. Fascinating at first, but ultimately boring.

Posted by: biffgrifftheoneandonly | June 14, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

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