Box Office Guru Wrapup: Wall Street Is In The Money

Legend of the Guardians and The Town round out the top three.

This weekend, Michael Douglas and director Oliver Stone reteamed for the financial crisis drama Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps and scored the best openings of their careers with an estimated $19M topping a sluggish box office that saw the top ten fail to break $90M for the fifth consecutive weekend. The PG-13 film marking the return of corporate raider Gordon Gekko (a role that won Douglas the Best Actor Oscar) averaged a decent $5,330 from 3,565 theaters for Fox. Stone's previous best opening was $18.7M for World Trade Center which bowed on a Wednesday in August 2006 while Douglas beat his previous high (in a lead role) of $17.1M for the kidnapping thriller Don't Say A Word which bowed this very weekend in 2001 when it led a box office resurgence just weeks after the 9/11 attacks.

Co-starring Shia LaBeouf, Carey Mulligan, and Josh Brolin, the Wall Street sequel was met with mixed reviews from film critics who didn't love it as much as the first one which opened in December 1987, just two months after the stock markets crashed. The new Gekko pic marked Fox's first number one opener of 2010, something the studio was waiting some time for. It did, however, top the first five weekends of the year with 2009's Avatar. Wall Street played to an older crowd with 65% of the audience being over 30 while males and females were evenly split. Formidable competition for review-reading adults came from last week's acclaimed champ The Town which held up quite well in its sophomore frame.

Warner Bros. landed in second place with the opening of its 3D adventure film Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole which bowed to an estimated $16.3M from a very wide 3,575 theaters. The PG-rated kidpic based on the popular book series averaged $4,569 per location which was not too strong considering the higher ticket prices at the more than 2,400 3D locations including 193 IMAX 3D sites. Reviews were mixed and starpower from the voices of Geoffrey Rush, Helen Mirren, and Sam Neill did little to excite families. Plus, how many owl movies soar at the box office?

The book series did not come with as large of a built-in fan base as other literary properties have had when making the move to the multiplexes. The Ga'Hoole launch amounted to about half of the bows from last fall's book-turned-kidpics Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and Where the Wild Things Are which opened to $30.3M and $32.7M, respectively.

Strong word-of-mouth is helping Ben Affleck's bank robbery thriller The Town become that elusive type of film that all studios want -- the durable box office winner with legs. The Warner Bros. hit suffered the smallest decline among all wide releases dipping only 33% to an estimated $16M in its second weekend for a solid ten-day score of $49.1M. That puts the Boston-set drama not far behind the pace of the studio's Martin Scorsese winner The Departed which dropped 29% in its sophomore outing with a $57M take in ten days. Town lags by just 14% in terms of gross sales. The critically acclaimed film also scored the weekend's best per-theater average among wide releases with $5,556 in its sophomore session edging out Wall Street and others. Affleck and company should easily be able to make off with $90M in the end and may even reach nine-digit territory.

The high school comedy Easy A followed in fourth with an estimated $10.7M dropping a respectable 40% in its sophomore frame. With $32.8M in ten days, the Sony release could be headed for $55-60M.

Opening one spot below was another female-driven comedy that mines high school for laughs -- You Again. The PG-rated pic starring Kristen Bell, Jamie Lee Curtis, Sigourney Weaver, and Betty White debuted with an estimated $8.3M from 2,548 locations for a mild $3,257 average. Despite the starpower, the Buena Vista release was affected by direct competition from Easy A which still pulled in a sizable number of young women. Even the male-driven dramas Wall Street and The Town have been seeing about half of their business come from females. Critics gave You Again unfavorable marks.

The M. Night Shyamalan production Devil fell 47% in its second weekend -- not too bad for a horror film -- and grossed an estimated $6.5M. After ten days, the Universal release has collected $21.7M and should finish with $32-35M.

Falling 51% in its third weekend was Sony's 3D zombie sequel Resident Evil: Afterlife with an estimated $4.9M for the frame and $52M total. International markets brought in an additional $24M boosting the overseas cume to an impressive $150.7M for a stellar global tally of $202.7M and counting. Afterlife is now the top-grossing Resident Evil pic both domestically and worldwide, thanks to higher 3D ticket prices and continued fan interest in the franchise.

Proving that not all 3D films are big sellers, the animated pic Alpha and Omega dropped 48% in its sophomore frame to an estimated $4.7M for a ten-day take of only $15.1M. The Lionsgate release looks to end with around $24M. Sony's hit heist film Takers followed with an estimated $1.7M, off 46%, for a $54.9M total.

Christopher Nolan's Inception became the only 2010 release to spend eleven weekends in the top ten thanks to its estimated $1.2M frame. The long-running Warner Bros. smash eased by only 37% and raised its sum to $287.1M from North America.

In limited release, the documentary Waiting for Superman which examines the pitfalls of the American educational system earned a terrific grade in its platform debut with an estimated $141,000 from just four locations for a scorching $35,250 average. Winning the Documentary Audience Award at Sundance earlier this year, the PG-rated film from the director of An Inconvenient Truth bowed in only New York and Los Angeles this weekend and expands to the top ten markets on Friday. Reviews have been overwhelmingly positive and Paramount used an aggressive online pledge campaign to boost interest and engage moviegoers in the release.

Lionsgate saw a solid debut for its horror entry Buried starring Ryan Reynolds which scared up an estimated $104,500 from just 11 locations for a $9,500 average. The R-rated chiller opens wider on October 8 against Wes Craven's 3D fright flick My Soul to Take splitting the Halloween month's horror crowd that weekend.

The Will Ferrell-produced sex comedy The Virginity Hit failed to score with audiences opening to a pathetic $300,000, according to estimates. Sony's no-budget pic averaged a puny $429 from an unusually wide release in 700 theaters and showed no signs of being a breakout hit deserving so many playdates.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $89.3M which was up 13% from last year when Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs stayed in the top spot with $25M; and up 9% from 2008 when Eagle Eye debuted at number one with $29.2M.

Comments

dodgerblue

Bruce Wayne

Go Ben

Sep 26 - 06:27 PM

Hector A.

Hector Losen

Im glad to see DEVIL holding so good!And it has made its budget back.

Sep 28 - 04:41 PM

Hector A.

Hector Losen

Im glad to see DEVIL holding so good!And it has made its budget back.

Sep 28 - 04:42 PM

Hector A.

Hector Losen

Im glad to see DEVIL holding so good!And it has made its budget back.

Sep 28 - 04:42 PM

EdP-Review

edgar perez

firsties. $300,000 is reason enough to retire from making movies. Awesome for Inception

Sep 26 - 06:30 PM

EdP-Review

edgar perez

okay, second, sorry dodgerblue

Sep 26 - 06:31 PM

EdP-Review

edgar perez

okay, second, sorry dodgerblue

Sep 26 - 06:31 PM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

Glad to see Town holding up so well, as well as Inception still being in the top 10. Apart from that, though, there is nothing else worth looking at.

Buried and Waiting for Supes are the only other releases worth looking at until October.

Sep 26 - 06:42 PM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

Whoops! That's quite the nonsensical statement I made there...but you know what I meant.
That is why, when you start writing something, you should finish it, as opposed to going into the kitchen for some tea.

Sep 26 - 06:44 PM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

Whoops! That's quite the nonsensical statement I made there...but you know what I meant.
That is why, when you start writing something, you should finish it, as opposed to going into the kitchen for some tea.

Sep 26 - 06:44 PM

ZenFan

Dylan Hair

The Owls may have some traction in the coming weeks. Based off of its friday estimate of 4 something million it really shouldn't have had such a great weekend finish. I didn't get to see it, but I really want too. Ditto Wall Street. Looks good and a bit surprised to see the sequel do so well, consider it is 20+ years since the first. The Town and Easy A haven't been viewed by me, so I'm behind but I intend to catch up. Buried looks great and that figure isn't IMPRESSIVE but it's good and hope it does expand out more. It is good to see business so spread on movies rather than just one movie, and nice to see the holdovers continuing to do so well. Lastly I predict The Virginity Hit may be out of theatres by thursday. That figure it posted is a joke and probably funnier than anything I saw in it's trailer.

Sep 26 - 06:47 PM

Isaac

Isaac H

Congrats to Wall Street, it looks stellar, despite the so-so reviews. I can't wait to get to the cinema and see it. Also happy for The Town and Easy A, two great films with great box-office runs, so far at least. I'm glad to see Inception still in the top 10, but this looks to be its last weekend in the top ten, unless all the other films absolutely bomb. I hope it manages to somehow, though. Does anyone know what's the longest a movie has stayed in the top ten for?

Sep 26 - 06:49 PM

Cory

Cory B

I don't know how many weeks is the record, but I'm pretty sure the movie that set it was E.T.

Sep 26 - 07:00 PM

bigbrother

Bigbrother .

Think it's like 11 for most weeks at #1 and 7 for consecutive weeks, but I could just be pulling those figures our of my posterior.

Sep 27 - 05:45 AM

Clint D.

Clint Davis

Actually Titanic was #1 for 15 consecutive weeks

Sep 27 - 07:16 AM

Bye bye

Steven Bailey

I'm happy that the Virginity bombed. Good sign for America.

Sep 26 - 06:52 PM

Aurora B.

Aurora Bellard

totally agreed. it looked like garbage, wanna be surprise hit for teens. *bleh* im a teen and I kno that im definitely staying away from that. still gotta see The Town, Easy A, and Wall Street. The owl flick just looks stupid. plus why do they all have different accents? one is british and then another is american. confusinggggg

Sep 27 - 12:40 PM

Cory

Cory B

I don't know how many weeks is the record, but I'm pretty sure the movie that set it was E.T.

Sep 26 - 07:00 PM

bigbrother

Bigbrother .

Think it's like 11 for most weeks at #1 and 7 for consecutive weeks, but I could just be pulling those figures our of my posterior.

Sep 27 - 05:45 AM

Clint D.

Clint Davis

Actually Titanic was #1 for 15 consecutive weeks

Sep 27 - 07:16 AM

K

KateBeckinsaleLover Clarke

I'm glad that The Town has held up as well as it has, it deserves every single penny.

Sep 26 - 07:12 PM

RamALamADingDong

That Guy

I enjoyed Wall Street. I'd say it deserves a bit more than the 56% it has. It certainly is an updated version of the original for the Internet age. I thought all the actors were great, except for Shia LaBeouf and Carey Mulligan who were pretty blah. Technically it looked brilliant. Though I wish the movie had more of the punch of the original. I didn't think the social criticism had as much bite, which lowered its effectiveness. It's not a must-see in theaters kind of movie, but definitely worth a look.

Sep 26 - 07:13 PM

Easter In The Batcave

Alex Sallas

I really wanna see Buried. It's opening in a theatre near me this week. It might move up from next week. Also saw The Town this weekend, awesome movie.

Sep 26 - 07:17 PM

Spencer S.

Spencer Saunders

Hope the Ga'Hoole movie can do better.

Sep 26 - 07:21 PM

Clint D.

Clint Davis

Why? Zack Snyder is a terrible director as proved by the Watchmen

Sep 27 - 07:18 AM

thismoviesucks.org

DEE JAY

Well now that october is here we will be getting those scary movies such as buried,paranormal activity 2 and it's crazy promotion and all the virals they are pushing on the DEMANDNOW websites. Saw 3-d will be ending the series once and for all so that's a good sign

I was thinking that wall street was going to make at least 30 million but with the start of football all across the country you can imagine how the movie business sorta suffers this is just my opinion plus everything is crap in sept there are some hidden gems.

Owl movie was a bomb and virginity hit was a bomb as well another slow box office day on to social network making at least 50+ 3 day weekend

Sep 26 - 08:00 PM

Cory

Cory B

$50 million in 3 days for The Social Network? I must be reading the post wrong, there's no way that's gonna happen. I'd guess closer to half that.

Sep 26 - 09:11 PM

BLaCKWoLF

BLaCKWoLF .

The Social Network really is a film that could do well, poorly or just scrape by and take top spot. The subject matter isnt really 'blockbuster' material (and this is coming from someone who is looking forward to seeing it).

Sep 27 - 02:18 AM

Rockslide

Rocky Davies

I'd have to agree with Cory. I would estimate $23 at most. While it may strongly appeal to a few, it hardly appeals to most. I believe its audience is going to be really limited.

Sep 27 - 07:39 AM

thismoviesucks.org

DEE JAY

Yeah I think I overshot my projection maybe 35+. There's nothing major except Harry Potter in Nov that will hit over 50+ in 3 days

Sep 27 - 10:42 AM

K

KateBeckinsaleLover Clarke

Yeah I agree Cory, I think it'll make half of that projection but overall have good solid legs.

Sep 27 - 03:35 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

Still need to see The Town!!!

Glad to see Nolan having longer legs than every filmaker that isn't named James Cameron, he more than deserves all that cash.

Sep 26 - 08:48 PM

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