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'Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps' is weekend winner

'Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps' brought in $19 million this weekend. It edged ahead of the children's 3-D fantasy film 'Legend of the Guardians,' but Guardians may have longer legs.

By Reuters / September 27, 2010

Filmmaker Oliver Stone (left) and actor Michael Douglas this at the Cannes Film Festival in May. Stone's film, 'Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps' was off to a good start this weekend.

LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Newscom

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Los Angeles

Greed is merely OK at the box office.

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Oliver Stone's "Wall Street" sequel was the top stock on the big board Sunday although it fell short of blue-chip status with modest earnings of $19 million from movie theaters across the United States and Canada.

"Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" led a field that included two weak newcomers: the 3D "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.

Last weekend's champion, writer/director Ben Affleck's heist thriller "The Town," slipped to No. 3 with $16 million. The high school comedy "Easy A" was down two to No. 4 with $10.7 million, also in its second weekend.

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. None of the films did well with critics.

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 three-day figure 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.

The film also earned about $9.1 million internationally after opening in 41 foreign markets. Australia contributed $1.6 million, good enough for No. 2, Fox said.

EXPENSIVE OWLS

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. The film cost about $60 million to make.

The original "Wall Street" grossed about $87 million in current dollars, and won an Oscar for Douglas.

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