‘Wall Street’ tops weak box office

'Wall Street' tops weak box office

The ’80s sequel is the weekend’s No. 1 film. But like the economy, it posts disappointing numbers.

Oliver Stone’s “Wall Street” sequel rallied to the top of the weekend box office in North America on Sunday, although its $19 million haul was below estimates.

“Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” led a field that included two other disappointing newcomers: the animated “Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole” at No. 2 with $16.3 million, and the Disney romantic comedy “You Again” at No. 5 with $8.3 million.

Box office observers last week had predicted “Wall Street” and “Legend of the Guardians” would each earn more than $20 million, while “You Again” was forecast to hit $10 million.

But distributor 20th Century Fox said the tally for its “Wall Street” release was “a terrific number.” Chris Aronson, the studio’s senior vice president of domestic distribution, added that he had been hoping for a number in the high-teen millions.

The News Corp unit was confident the film would hold up over the coming weeks, because it played to an older crowd — 65 percent was aged over 30 — which generally does not rush out to see a movie on opening weekend.

Michael Douglas’ character, financier Gordon Gekko, returns to the high-finance morality tale, 23 years after his proclamation that “greed … is good” became a metaphor for the downside of the financial boom of the 1980s. Shia LeBeouf also stars.

Warner Bros., the Time Warner Inc unit behind “Legend of the Guardians,” was not immediately available for comment. The costly film — coming in at about $80 million after tax credits — was based on a children’s book series and viewed as the first release in a movie franchise.

“You Again,” from Walt Disney Co’s Touchstone Pictures label, came in at the lower end of the studio’s modest forecasts, said domestic distribution president Chuck Viane. But he also hoped the film would find support in the next few weeks. Kristen Bell stars as a woman who learns that her brother’s bride was her worst enemy in high school.

Related Link: Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps Full Production Notes