Weekend Box Office: Greed Is Good

A whole bunch of movies flew into theaters like the titular owls in ‘Legend of the Guardians’ this weekend, but only one could take home the top spot – and it wasn’t the owls. Instead, Michael Douglas’ serpentine return as Gordon Gekko in above-average sequel ‘Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps‘ took home the gold, grossing $19 million. This is notable because it’s the sequel to a movie that came out 23 years ago. When that much time has eclipsed, there’s always the possibility (slim, but still there) that no one will care anymore. It’s also the biggest weekend of Oliver Stone’s career, and that’s something, considering that he’s been around a long time and has had some pretty big movies. For the rest of the Top 10 and further asinine analysis, read on!

Swooping in at number two was Zack Snyder’s animated 3-D children’s film ‘Legend of the Guards: The Owls of Ga’Hoole‘ with $16.3 million. Just looking at the trailer, you can tell this movie cost a lot to make. This isn’t exactly a smashing debut. The movie will probably have to work long and hard to recoup its budget. Snyder, while an uncanny visual stylist, doesn’t exactly pack the theaters like some of his contemporaries. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I’d very much like to, if only to see what percentage is shot in slow motion.

Ben Affleck’s smart crime thriller ‘The Town‘ held steadfast at #3, with another $16 million. It dropped a little more than 30%, which is a great hold. It’s good to see a movie aimed at adults actually making some money. Maybe this will encourage Hollywood to emphasize the importance of this audience, instead of merely pandering to 13-year-old boys. (Keep in mind that ‘Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps’ is the PG-13 sequel to an R-rated original.)

As far as the rest of the Top 10 goes, there isn’t a whole lot else to report. The Jamie Lee Curtis/Kristin Bell romantic comedy ‘You Again,’ which by all accounts is borderline unwatchable, bowed in fifth position with $8.3 million. That’s right behind ‘Easy A,’ which fell two slots to #4 and $10.7 million. Apparently, Disney’s recent marketing push, which gave about as much ad time to Betty White as it did to the more prominent cast members, didn’t work. That probably has less to do with America’s Betty White obsession than with the movie’s general lousiness. Expect it to fall several spots next weekend.

Next weekend will see a pair of Facebook movies take center stage in the box office street brawl: ‘Catfish,’ the intriguing documentary, finally goes wide after inching up the charts in limited release. David Fincher’s flat-out masterpiece ‘The Social Network,’ about the sticky formation of Facebook, also goes wide. The latter movie is probably my favorite released this year, and I’ll be talking a lot more about it soon. I suspect that, with its white-hot subject matter and all-audience-friendly PG-13 rating, it’s going to dominate next weekend’s box office. And, to tell you the truth, I hope it does. It really is that good.

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