Top 10

1. “Real Steel,” $16.3 million.

2. “Footloose,” $16.1 million.

3. “The Thing,” $8.7 million.

4. “The Ides of March,” $7.5 million.

5. “Dolphin Tale,” $6.3 million.

6. “Moneyball,” $5.5 million.

7. “50/50,” $4.3 million.

8. “Courageous,” $3.4 million.

9. “The Big Year,” $3.3 million.

10. “The Lion King,” $2.7 million.

T he robot boxers of “Real Steel” and the dancers of “Footloose” are in a tight fight for the box-office title.

The Hugh Jackman tale about machines in the boxing ring took in $16.3 million, which would make it the No. 1 movie for the second-straight weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday.

But “Real Steel” came in barely ahead of the remake “Footloose,” which opened with $16.1 million.

The movies are close enough that they could switch rankings once final numbers are released Monday.

Studio estimates are based on actual business Friday and Saturday and projections for Sunday based on how well similar movies typically hold up.

An executive at Disney, which is distributing “Real Steel” for DreamWorks Pictures, said he expects his movie will come out on top because of strong family crowds during day-time shows Sunday.

“Absolutely,” said Dave Hollis, Disney’s head of distribution. “The way we’ve been playing, the families who’ve been coming and the kind of day-time business we’ve had on each of the weekend days so far, we have the expectation that it won’t be terribly close. They’re free to estimate as they will, but we expect to be No. 1.”

Paramount, which released “Footloose,” was tracking its movie’s revenues slightly ahead of those for “Real Steel,” said Don Harris, Paramount’s head of distribution.

“Footloose” was doing especially strong business in the Midwest and South, and the studio had hopes that those rural crowds would turn out in big numbers Sunday, Harris said.

“It’s close enough to be a dead heat at this point,” Harris said. “If we get that middle of the country that seems to be preoccupied with high school football on Friday and college football on Saturday, then it bodes well not only for a big Sunday but for the legs of the movie.”