Box Office: Weekend champ 'The Social Network' finds new friends, but not nationwide
Plus: 'Legend of the Guardians' makes a semi-comeback
There's nothing Sony Pictures should be upset about following "The Social Network's" $23 million opening this weekend, but they do have a mission on their hands Monday morning: broaden the film's appeal. The critically beloved David Fincher thriller has already had a massive marketing campaign, but the story of Facebook -- as it was sold -- didn't appear to have as much interest throughout the entire country as it did in big cities. That lead to sold out shows in LA and NY, but not across the board. Financially, that could be the difference between a $70 million and $100 million final gross. It will be intriguing to see how "Network" drops next weekend with little dramatic competition.
Surging to the second slot was the surprising "Legend of the Guardians." Zack Snyder's 3-D owl pick didn't open at expectations last weekend, but found a family audience on Saturday for only a 33% drop to $10.9 million and a new cue of $30.5 million. "Legend" will still have a hard time getting back into the black, but it's no longer looking like a money pit for Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures.
Coming in third with $10.1 million was "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps." The Oliver Stone drama has now grossed $35.8 million in just 10 days. Did Fox do the right thing by limiting the marketing spend? Considering the reviews and results, spending more probably wouldn't have gotten them a better gross at the box office, so yes.
Still going strong is Ben Affleck's "The Town" which found another $10 million for a new cue of $64.3 million. With a $90 million final gross a strong possibility, Affleck is now Hollywood's hottest filmmaker. How times change.
Also holding well in the fifth slot was Emma Stone's "Easy A." The comedy found another $7 million for a new cue of $42.4 million as Screen Gems finally started a strong adult campaign for the comedy. "A" could end up with $65-70 million when all is said and done, but will face competition from the Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel romantic comedy "Life as We Know It" next weekend.
Among new releases, Matt Reeves' critically acclaimed remake of "Let The Right One In," "Let Me In," couldn't compete with the "Social Network" hype and found only $5.3 million from a little over 2,000 screens. That has to be disheartening for one of Overture Films last official releases. In hindsight, Overture should have released the picture platform style, expanding throughout October. It is now obvious making the film look like a "traditional" horror film didn't work with audiences.
An expected bomb, however, was the long delayed "Case 39" featuring Renee Zellweger and Bradley Cooper. After sitting on the shelf for over three years and an international roll out in 2008 and 2009, the scares were tepid for audiences as the picture pulled in a measly $5.1 million.
Next weekend's new releases include "Life as We Know It," "Secretariat" and "Tamara Drewe."
Final box office figures are released on Wednesday.
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