More than twenty years and one massive financial crisis later, audiences are still ready to accept that “greed is good.”
Oliver Stone’s “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” opened to a bullish $7 million on Friday in 3,565 theaters in the U.S. and Canada, according to studio estimates.
As Harrison Ford found with 2008’s “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” pairing the graying Micheal Douglas with the youthful Shia LaBeouf seemed to have broadened the audience for the $55 million movie.
The sequel, which sees Douglas reprise his Oscar-winning role as mephistophelean trader Gordon Gekko, is on track to ring in $21 million over the weekend. That will easily hand Stone his best opening weekend ever — higher than the $18.7 benchmark he set with 2006’s “World Trade Center.”
Faring less well was Warner Bros. 3D- animated film "Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole.” The bird adventure debuted in 3,575 theaters, most of them 3D-equipped, bringing in $4.5 million on Friday.
Here's the top 10 at the domestic box office (report continues below):
Co-financed by Warner and Villiage Roadshow, the $80 million family oriented movie should perform strongly on Saturday and Sunday with kids out of school. It is projected to take in $16.8 million over the weekend. The would be on the softer end of pre-release tracking, which had suggested the "Legend of the Guardians" could beat "Wall Street" and make as much as $20 million.
Also debuting, Disney's "You Again" made $2.7 million on Friday in 2,548 theaters. The revenge comedy, which features octogenarian flavor of the year Betty White, is on pace to earn $8.7 million this weekend.
In its second week of release, Ben Affleck's "The Town" showed box office legs. The gritty crime drama scored $5.1 million in 2,885 theaters. The Warner Bros. movie should enjoy a $17 million weekend take and move a step closer to expunging the bad taste left over from "Gigli."
Sony's "Easy A" also exhibited some staying power. The low-budget teen comedy made $3.6 million on Friday and should pull in $10.7 million in its sophomore weekend.
Among limited releases, Davis Guggenheim's "Waiting for Superman" was the big winner. The documentary about the need for education reform made $52,000 in a mere 4 locations.
Lionsgate's "Buried" scared up $34,000 in 11 theaters. But sticking Ryan Reynolds in a coffin was no match for Woody Allen's umpteenth medition on marital infidelity. Allen's "You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger" earned $45,000 in just 6 theaters.