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Posted at 5:17 PM ET, 09/26/2010

BOX OFFICE: 'Legend of the Guardians' debuts with disappointing $16.3M; 'Wall Street' wins weekend

By Michael Cavna



Warner Bros. has migrated from penguins to owls, but its latest avian effort didn't get much lift.

"Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole," the studio's first animated follow-up to the 2006 hit "Happy Feet," disappointed in its debut, making only $16.3-million at this weekend's domestic box office, according to boxofficemojo.com.

The adventure tale of a kidnapped barn owl --directed by Zack Snyder ("Watchmen" and "300") -- had prompted predictions of a $20-million weekend; but even "Legend's" 3-D ticket price couldn't help it come near that mark.

"Happy Feet" made $41-million in its opening weekend and the film's domestic gross was nearly twice its $100-million production budget. "Legends of the Guardians" reportedly cost roughly $80-million to make.

Warner Bros. will probably have to put its hopes for a 2010 animated hit on the holiday's season CGI/live-action hybrid "Yogi Bear," which features the voices of Dan Aykroyd and Justin Timberlake (who will be coming off positive reviews for his work in "The Social Network").

Oliver Stone's sequel "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" won the weekend, grossing $19-million. Michael Douglas reprises his 1987 role as Gorden Gekko. Ben Affleck's Boston-set crime drama "The Town" stayed strong, grossing $16-million.

Elsewhere, Lions Gate's animated "Alpha and Omega" grossed $4.7-million to finish eighth; the 3D film has now made $15.1-million in two weeks of release.

Sunday's numbers are based on studio estimates; the final numbers are expected Monday afternoon.

By Michael Cavna  | September 26, 2010; 5:17 PM ET
Categories:  The Holly Word  | Tags:  Alpha and Omega, Happy Feet, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole, Warner Bros., Yogi Bear  
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