Weekend Box Office – WALL STREET: MONEY NEVER SLEEPS Wakes Up To $19 Million

     September 26, 2010

The estimates are in and it looks like, for once, the financial analysts got it right… I mean the box office analysts. Oh, what’s the difference anyway? There was indeed enough equity left in Oliver Stone’s Wall Street premise after 23 years to put the sequel – Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps – in the top spot for the weekend with an estimated $19 million.

Title Weekend Total
1 Wall Street 2 $19,000,000 $19
2 Legend of the Guardians $16,300,000 $16.3
3 The Town $16,000,000 $49
4 Easy A $10,700,000 $32.8
5 You Again $8,300,000 $8.3
6 Devil $6,500,000 $21.7
7 Resident Evil 4 $4,900,000 $52
8 Alpha & Omega $4,700,000 $15.1
9 Takers $1,600,000 $54.9
10 Inception $$1,200,000 $287.1

wall_street_money_never_sleeps_teaser_poster_smallWith that $19 million from the film’s 3,565 locations, Wall Street 2 looks like it will be director Oliver Stone’s biggest debut; although when the $18.7 million of 2006’s World Trade Center is adjusted for inflation the two films stand about equal. Still, after the debacle that was W. (the 2008 feature ended its run with a sad $25.5 million in total) and the dismal summer schedule that Fox just suffered through, both studio and director can cautiously enter this film in their ‘bulls’ column.

Like many, I wondered what impact Michael Douglas’ recent diagnosis had on Wall Street 2’s initial turnout. Personally, I’m not convinced that this will be the actor’s last film, but there are plenty of others who do. If so, that’s a pretty morbid reason to go see a movie; especially one that is currently rocking a decidedly mixed 55% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The original Wall Street secured Douglas a Best Actor Oscar. Let’s hope that he makes a full recovery because this latest Wall Street is not what I would call Academy-material.

As I write, second place is a toss-up between the kid-friendly Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole and Ben Affleck’s The Town. After coming in third on Friday with a disappointing $4.6 million, the 3D enhanced Legends got a boost from Saturday matinees and is now just $300,000 under The Town’s second weekend estimate. So we may have to wait until Monday to see which film gets to play second fiddle to Gordon Gekko.

Though author Kathryn Lasky’s Legends book series has a devoted following, that fan base did not seem to carry over to the general public – much as kid-book adaptations like Percy Jackson and the Olympians and Cirque du Freak failed to excite much fan loyalty at the multiplex. Even with a record 2,479 venues screening The Owls in 3D, Zack Snyder’s computer-generated fantasy came closer to the first weekend take of Step Up 3D than to the debut gross of other 3D titles like How to Train Your Dragon or Clash of the Titans.

As for the film that is currently at number two, The Town showed an amazing hold for an R-rated drama, falling just 33% after its big number one victory last weekend.

The third newcomer of the week, You Again, seemed to have an ace up its sleeve: namely, Betty White. Disney put White front and center on the comedy’s TV spots and posters, but if America’s octogenarian sweetheart had any effect on the film’s grosses, the film’s weekend estimate does not bear that out. You Again made $8.3 million from its 2,548 locations for a per-screen average of just $3,257. The good news is that the film, which co-stars Kristin Bell, Sigourney Weaver and Jamie Lee Curtis, cost just $20 million. The studio should make any deficit back when they farm the rights out to ABC Family in a few months time.

Next week two interesting films hit theatres: director Matt Reeves Let Me In and a David Fincher’s new movie that you may have heard about called The Social Network. Vampires are hot. Swedish vampires are hotter; but I’m pretty sure David Fincher has more Facebook friends on his side…

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