Weekend box office: 'Wall Street' is on top
"Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" -- the sequel to Oliver Stone's 1987 insider-trading drama -- debuts at No. 1, Zack Snyder's animated family film takes second place, Betty White doesn't win over moviegoers and two movies perform solidly in limited release.
Find out the details in this week's box office rundown.
Greed is good again ... at least at the box office.
Given financial genius Gordon Gekko's involvement, is it really surprising that "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" earned a respectable $19 million over the weekend? That's a decent take for an adult-oriented film, and significantly more money than the original made 13 years ago in its first weekend of release -- $4.1 million, with a third-place debut. (Of course, that's before adjusting for inflation and while playing in far fewer theaters than "Money Never Sleeps" did.) According to Box Office Mojo, the odds are good that all those ticket buyers wanted to see Michael Douglas reprise his Gekko gig because they remembered the first go-round: 65 percent of the audience was over the age of 30.
Zack Snyder's attempt at family fare -- "Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole" -- came in second place with a so-so total of $16.3 million. "Alpha and Omega," the animated adventure that opened last week with $9.1 million, was pushed farther down the list, to eighth place. Box office business overall was up 3.8 percent over this time last year, even though "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" -- the top movie during a comparable weekend in 2009 -- outearned all of this week's individual releases with $25 million. Lesson learned: Family movies sell when the concept is strong ... and especially when their titles aren't super long and filled with weird words like "Ga'Hoole."
Betty White can do no wrong ... unless she's in a crummy chick flick filled with cat fights. "You Again," the ensemble rom-com featuring White, Kristen Bell, Jamie Lee Curtis and Sigourney Weaver -- made only $8.3 million, enough to land it in fifth place. According, again, to Box Office Mojo, that's a more dire turn-out than we saw for stinko comedies like "Mr. Woodcock." (Feel free to insert your own "Mr. Woodcock" joke here. Lord knows that randy Bettty White would.)
In limited release, both Woody Allen's "You Will Meet a Tall, Dark Stranger" and the documentary "Waiting for Superman" did very well. "Stranger" brought in $163,000 on six screens -- a per-screen average of $27,167 -- while "Superman" earned $141,000 on four screens, with a per-screen average of $35,250. The Will Ferrell-produced "The Virginity Hit," on the other hand, generated $300,000 on 700 screens, for a far less impressive per-screen average of $429. For once, highbrow wins the day.
Now we look ahead to next weekend, when two of the most buzzed-about and well-received films of the fall season -- "The Social Network" and "Let Me In," both of which currently boast 100-percent positive ratings on Rotten Tomatoes -- open in wide release. Will one of them be the box office winner? Or will "Wall Street" hold on to the spot? Make a prediction by voting in our poll.
| September 27, 2010; 9:35 AM ET
Categories: Movies, Pop Culture
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