‘Wall Street’ Cashes In at Box Office

Monday, 27 Sep 2010 08:36 AM

By James Hirsen

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Oliver Stone’s follow-up to the classic 1987 film, “Wall Street,” topped the weekend take with $19 million. “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps,”  distributed by 20th Century Fox, stars Michael Douglas, who ushers his Gordon Gekko character into the modern age after Wall Street crashes and burns in the recent financial meltdown.

A host of real-life Wall Street dwellers appear in the movie. Billionaire investor Warren Buffet has a cameo as does CNBC's “Money Honey,” Maria Bartiromo.

CNN business anchor Ali Velshi, who has a cameo of his own, revealed that the real Wall Street types didn’t exactly make out like bandits from their moonlighting experience. They were paid the Screen Actors Guild standard day rate of about $800.

In an apparent attempt to bring in a younger audience along with the seasoned, Shia LaBeouf and Carey Mulligan are among its cast. Another original star, Charlie Sheen, drops in for a cameo, too.

Tax credits evidently brought the cost of production down to around $50 million.

An animated fantasy from Warner Bros., “Legend of the Guardians:  The Owls of Ga'Hoole,” didn’t get a whole lot of hoots in recent tracking surveys, partially because of its dark and intense nature. It took the No. 2 slot with a lower-than-expected $16.3 million.

Zack Snyder from “Watchmen” and “300” directs the film, which boasts Helen Mirren, Anthony LaPaglia, and Sam Neill in its voice cast lineup.

Since it screens in 3-D, “Owls” is able to command higher ticket prices. Warner and Australian company Village Roadshow Pictures were willing to shell out more than $100 million to produce the movie, but Aussie tax credits were able to bring final costs down to an estimated $79 million.

Meanwhile, Ben Affleck’s “The Town,” in which Affleck directs and stars, was last weekend’s No. 1 film and this weekend’s No. 3. With an adult audience of similar age to that of “Wall Street,” it brought in $16 million and raised its 10-day total to $49 million. Additionally, the film continues to generate Oscar buzz.

Sony's “Easy A” maintained a large audience in its second week. Although the teen comedy slipped from No. 2 to No. 4, it still had a healthy $10.7 million.

Disney's ensemble comedy, “You Again,” which stars Kristen Bell, Jamie Lee Curtis, Betty White, and Sigourney Weaver, came in fifth, with a disappointing $8.3 million.

Fortunately for the mouse house, the tale of a young woman, whose brother is getting ready to marry her high school archrival, cost under $20 million to make.


James Hirsen, J.D., M.A. in media psychology, is a New York Times best-selling author, commentator, media analyst and law professor. He is admitted to practice in the U.S. Supreme Court and has made several appearances there on various landmark decisions. Hirsen is the co-founder and chief legal counsel for InternationalEsq.com. Visit: Newsmax TV Hollywood: http://www.youtube.com/user/NMHollywood


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