By Christy Strawser
CBS Detroit Managing Editor
It’s a big weekend for made in Michigan movies with dueling premieres from major Hollywood players — George Clooney and Hugh Jackman.

Jackman’s “Real Steel,” filmed partially in western Michigan, and Clooney’s “Ides of Match,” which was filmed throughout Metro Detroit and Ann Arbor, both head to the box office today.

Will Jackman take Clooney?

The Los Angeles Times predicts “Real Steel” will collect $30 million, crushing Clooney’s projected $11 million box office take.

“Real Steel” is described as a futuristic drama featuring boxing robots. It cost an estimated $110 million to produce.

Production ran into a snag in late September 2010, when a helicopter used in the filming of “Real Steel” hit a power line in western Michigan, caused a power outage and closed a roadway in Huron County’s Sheridan Township.

“Ides of March” cost an estimated $12.5 million to create. It drew a lot of local attention for a different reason — its megawatt movie star and director Clooney filmed scenes out and about and held open casting calls for extras.

He drew a huge crowd this spring while filming at Christ Church at Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills.

“It’s exciting, it’s exciting for Michigan, I hope to see that they can work something out where they can keep this industry here,” Dennis Laubernds from Roseville told WWJ Newsradio at the scene.

“Ides of March,” a political drama about candidates fighting dirty in the U.S. presidential primaries, also features Ryan Gosling, Marisa Tomei, Paul Giamatti and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

So, who will win? It’s too early to know. But if Detroit can teach  movie stars anything, it’s to never throw in the towel too early.


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