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Despite All the Hype, Moneyball Opens Behind The Lion King

Pitt and Hill in Moneyball.

Moneyball, Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill's adaptation of Michael Lewis's 2003 baseball book, has been the talk of the town these past few weeks — not to mention front and center in the cultural press, including the cover story for New York's Fall Preview. So it's somewhat surprising that it only came in second in box office revenues for its opening week, with $20.6 million. First place remained solidly in the hands of Disney's 3-D reissue of the greatest animated film of all-time, The Lion King, which pulled in $22.1 million and just under what it brought in last weekend. That said, Dolphin Tale, Warner Bros.'s story about a bionic dolphin, is proving competitive as well, coming in a close third this weekend with a $20.3 million take. And that's after one cast member, Morgan Freeman, recently went on CNN's Piers Morgan and labeled all tea partiers as "racist." (The film's producer did tell Deadline's Nikke Finke that he doubts Freeman's remarks cost the film "even one dollar.") Next weekend, at least, we'll see who really tops when the Oakland A's go up against poor Winter the dolphin — Simba's short-release tour is up this week. [AP, Deadline]

Photo: Melinda Sue Gordon/Courtesy of Columbia Pictures