Dolphin Tale leads box office

On strong word-of-mouth, Dolphin Tale managed to leap over Moneyball and The Lion King (in 3D) to take first place on its second weekend in the US box office.

Dolphin Tale eased just 26 percent to an estimated $14.3 million, which brought its 10-day total to a solid $37.5 million. It had a better hold than Soul Surfer and was about even with last Fall’s Secretariat, albeit with a much higher total than either of those movies at the same point. Still, it couldn’t hold a candle to The Blind Side (which actually improved in its second frame), though that was a holiday weekend so it isn’t an apples-to-apples comparison.

Dolphin Tale is a 2011 family drama film directed by Charles Martin Smith from a screenplay by Karen Janszen and Noam Dromi starring Harry Connick Jr., Ashley Judd, and Morgan Freeman. The film is inspired by the true story of a bottlenose dolphin named Winter who was rescued off the Florida coast and taken in by the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

Meanwhile according to third party tabulator Box Office Mojo, 50/50 faltered but was tops among newcomers, though faith-based movie Courageous had the most impressive showing at far fewer locations. Dream House disappointed in its debut, while What’s Your Number? tallied one of the worst numbers for a super-saturated (3,000+ theaters) release ever.

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