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OTRC: 'Moneyball' takes No. 1 spot in Friday box office

Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill appear in a still from the 2011 film, 'Moneyball.' (Columbia TriStar / Melina Sue Gordon)

Brad Pitt's baseball drama, "Moneyball" earned the top spot in Friday's box office, with the re-release of "The Lion King" and "Dolphin Tale" following close behind.

"Moneyball" brought in $6.8 million on Friday and is expected to gross as much as $20 million for the weekend, according to The Hollywood Reporter, which said the Sony film is on course to earn the best opening ever for a baseball drama.

"Moneyball" is based on a true story. Pitt plays Billy Beane, general manager of the Oakland A's baseball team, who utilizes a new method of scouting players that mostly involves analyzing game statistics. Hill portrays his assistant, Peter Brand, while Philip Seymour Hoffman plays the team's manager, Art Howe.

"The Lion King" continues to perform well since taking over last weekend's box office, earning another $6.1 million on Friday and a potential $20 million more for the weekend.

"Dolphin Tale" had a solid opening on Friday as well, earning an estimated $5.1 million.

In "Dolphin Tale," which is also based on a true story, a young boy named Sawyer bonds with a bottlenose dolphin that has lost its tail in a crap trap. When faced with the realization that the dolphin might not make it, in spite of the care he received at a marine hospital (run by Harry Connick Jr.), he tracks down Dr. McCarthy (Morgan Freeman) who specializes in prosthetic limbs for veterans and finds a life-saving solution. Ashley Judd stars as Sawyer's single mother, who works as a nurse.

Taylor Lautner's "Abduction" had a modest opening of $3.8 million on Friday, landing in the No. 4 spot.

In "Abduction," Lautner plays teenager Nathan Price, who discovers his baby picture on a missing person's website. His character then goes on the run from government agents while trying to find out the truth of who he is. The movie also stars his now ex-girlfriend Lily Collins, the 22-year-old daughter of musician Phil Collins, as Price's love interest and neighbor, Karen Lowell.

Gerard Butler's "Machine Gun Preacher" had an extremely small release in four theaters, according to Box Office Mojo. The action flick, which is also based on a true story, has earned an estimated $10,000 according to the site.

Check out trailers for "Abduction," "Moneyball" and "Dolphin Tale" and "Machine Gun Preacher" below.

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