Though they claimed the top two spots, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps and Legend of the Guardians both opened softer than expected.

‘Wall Street’ Tops ‘Legend of the Guardians’

on September 27, 2010 by Daniel Garris

As had been widely expected, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps opened in first place this weekend. However, the sequel from Fox opened below its lofty expectations in the process with an opening weekend take of $19.01 million. The film was also only able to generate a modest per-location of $5,333 from an ultra-wide 3,565 locations. There is no question that Wall Street 2 had some of its thunder stolen by the break-out performance of The Town. Throughout much of the year, the two films would have likely been able to co-exist better with one another, but the traditionally slower September box office ultimately made doing that much more difficult this weekend.

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps was fairly front-loaded towards Friday, especially for a film appealing strongly to older moviegoers. With an opening day gross of $6.91 million, Wall Street 2 generated a three-day to Friday ratio of 2.75 to 1. That isn't a good sign for the film going forward, especially with further competition arriving on Friday in the form of Sony's The Social Network.

Internationally Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps grossed $9.1 million from 20 foreign markets. Key grosses included $1.65 million in Australia, $0.86 million in Sweden and $0.81 million in Brazil. The film will be opening in a number of major foreign markets over the next two weeks.

Also opening below expectations this weekend was Warner's Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole. The 3D computer animated film from director Zack Snyder opened with $16.11 million to finish in second. Like Wall Street 2, Legend of the Guardians was given a ultra-wide launch (3,575 locations) and like Wall Street 2, Legend of the Guardians was only able to deliver a modest per-location average in return ($4,507).

With a lack of big-time performers with family audiences over the past two months, the family marketplace was wide open for Legend of the Guardians. But at the end of the day, the film's marketing wasn't appealing enough to get family audiences excited enough to pay for the film's 3D priced tickets. Without taking into account ticket price inflation, Legend of the Guardians opened nearly on par with the $16.03 million start of 2005's Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. With little direct competition for family dollars on the schedule throughout October, Legend of the Guardians will hope to (and need to) hold up very well going forward.

The Town continued to deliver much better news for Warner Bros. The crime film starring and directed by Ben Affleck grossed $15.61 million to finish in third. After a much better than expected start last weekend, The Town held up quite well this weekend in falling only 34 percent. The second weekend hold was obviously even more impressive when taking into account the new direct competition from Wall Street 2. The ten-day gross for The Town stands at $48.69 million, placing the film just 15 percent behind the pace of 2006's The Departed (which fell 29 percent in its second weekend of release). At its current pace, The Town has a good chance of reaching the $100 million domestic mark by the end of its run.

Holding up well in its own right was Sony's Easy A. The PG-13 comedy starring Emma Stone placed in fourth with $10.60 million. That was down a very respectable 40 percent from last weekend, especially with Disney's You Again having entered the marketplace. Easy A has grossed a healthy $32.71 million through ten days of release. That is in line with expectations and places the film 17 percent ahead of the pace of 2008's The House Bunny.

You Again had to settle for fifth place this weekend with a lackluster start of $8.41 million. The PG comedy starring Kristen Bell was able to bring in older female audiences this weekend. However, with the film skewing nearly 75 percent female and nearly 75 percent to moviegoers over 25, the film clearly failed in drawing in audiences outside of that demographic. You Again opened 32 percent weaker than the $12.35 million start of When in Rome earlier this year. That has to be seen as a significant setback in the evolution of Kristen Bell as a leading actress at the box office. On the positive side of things, the film was able to generate a three-day to Friday ratio of 3.08 to 1.

While it continues to fall off quickly domestically, Sony's Resident Evil: Afterlife continued its impressive international performance this weekend. The 3D sequel grossed $24 million internationally over the weekend, placing the film's international total at $150.7 million. With a current domestic total of $52.07 million (a new record for the franchise without adjusting for inflation) the film's worldwide total stands at $202.8 million.

Tags: Resident Evil: Afterlife, You Again, Easy A, The Town, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

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