“The Social Network,” chronicling the rise of Facebook Inc. founder Mark Zuckerberg, opened as the No. 1 movie in U.S. and Canadian theaters, logging $23 million in ticket sales for Sony Corp.
Time Warner Inc.’s “Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole” remained in second place with $10.9 million, box- officer tracker Hollywood.com Box-Office said today in an e- mailed statement.
In bringing Facebook to the big screen, Sony had the challenge of attracting moviegoers to a film about an online phenom unknown to many. Director David Fincher, whose credits include “Zodiac” and “Fight Club,” focused on Zuckerberg’s ethical choices and relationships. The marketing included ads touting the fictionalized founder as: “Punk, genius, billionaire.”
The movie missed the $26 million estimate of Gitesh Pandya, editor of Box Office Guru.
“The Social Network” follows the origin of Facebook from its controversial founding, embellishing the known record with made-up episodes. Jesse Eisenberg, whose previous roles include “Adventureland” and “Zombieland,” plays Zuckerberg and Justin Timberlake appears as venture capitalist Sean Parker.
Second place’s “Guardians,” a 3-D animated movie, features the voices of Jim Sturgess and Helen Mirren.
Falling to third place from first last week was “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” with $10.1 million. The Oliver Stone-directed sequel to 1987’s “Wall Street” has brought in $35.9 million for News Corp.’s Twentieth Century Fox in two weeks.
Michael Douglas reprises his Oscar-winning role as financier Gordon Gekko, who has 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.
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