“Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” opened as the No. 1 movie in U.S. and Canadian theaters this weekend, earning $19 million in ticket sales for News Corp.’s 20th Century Fox.
“Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole,” also a debut film, was second with $16.3 million, box-officer tracker Hollywood.com Box-Office said today in an e-mailed statement.
“Money Never Sleeps,” the Oliver Stone-directed sequel to 1987’s “Wall Street,” is News Corp.’s first No. 1 film since “Avatar” opened in December. 20th Century Fox ranks third among Hollywood studios in sales this year with $1.22 billion as of today, according to website Box Office Mojo.
“While [the opening] wasn’t spectacular, for a Michael Douglas or Oliver Stone film which don’t usually open very strong, this is very respectable,” said Gitesh Pandya, chief executive officer of BoxOfficeGuru.com.
Douglas reprises his Oscar-winning role as financier Gordon Gekko, who has just completed a lengthy prison term. The movie co-stars Shia LaBeouf, who plays a young trader in a tale set amid the 2008 economic meltdown.
Time Warner Inc.’s “Guardians of Ga’Hoole” is a 3-D animated adaptation of Kathryn Lasky’s “Guardians of Ga’Hoole” series. The movie features the voices of Jim Sturgess and Helen Mirren in a fantasy adventure about owls.
It was “a respectable opening, inflated some by 3-D ticket prices, as they are not a huge franchise like ‘Harry Potter’ or ‘Twilight,’” Pandya said.
“The Town,” last weekend’s top film, dropped to third with $16 million for Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros. Ben Affleck stars and directs the bank robbery thriller, which also features Jon Hamm, Rebecca Hall and Jeremy Renner.
“Easy A,” dropped to fourth from second, earning $10.7 million for Sony Corp.’s Screen Gems. The teen comedy stars Emma Stone as a high school student determined to enhance her social status. Lisa Kudrow, Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson co- star.
“You Again” opened in fifth place with receipts of $8.3 million for Walt Disney Co.’s Buena Vista. Kristen Bell, Sigourney Weaver, Jamie Lee Curtis and Betty White lead a female-dominated cast about high school rivals who reconnect at a wedding.
‘The Social Network’
Next weekend, Sony’s “The Social Network” debuts. The fictional take on the origin of Facebook stars Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg and Justin Timberlake as venture capitalist Sean Parker. It will be joined by two horror movies, Paramount Vantage’s “Case 39” and Overture Films LLC’s “Let Me In,” as October kicks off Halloween movie season.
“The Social Network” should “singlehandedly breathe new life into the box office as its one of those rare films that pleases every critic and brings out the commercial moviegoers,” Pandya said.
Weekend sales for the top 12 films rose 15 percent to $95.6 million from $83 million a year earlier, Hollywood.com said. Year-to-date receipts total $8.07 billion, up 3.87 percent from $7.76 billion. Attendance has fallen 1.67 percent this year.
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