The weekend’s domestic B.O. will likely see a battle between adult auds and those young at heart as “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” and “Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’hoole” enter the market nationwide.
Both pics launch today at virtually the same location count, north of 3,500, while Disney’s Touchstone release “You Again” goes wide at 2,548 engagements. “You Again” should appeal mostly to teenage femmes, as younger males will need to choose between the other wide entries.
Twentieth Century Fox’s “Wall Street” reboot could find support among adults, though several limited releases are ushering in the busy fall specialty season. Woody Allen’s “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger,” which opened Wednesday from Sony Pictures Classics, bows in six locations. Paramount Vantage’s education reform docu “Waiting for Superman” kicks off at four U.S. locations after a targeted online campaign promoting group sales among schools and nonprofit orgs. Also launching are festival pickups “Buried” from Lions-gate at 11 and “Howl” from Oscilloscope at 6.
Launching at a wider-than-usual 700 engagements, Sony’s Will Ferrell laffer “The Virginity Hit” looks to attract younger audiences of both sexes. Sony has sneaked “Virginity” for the past two weeks.
Overseas, the studio’s “Resident Evil: Afterlife” continues to earn top marks; it’s cumed an impressive $103.2 million in just its first 10 days of release. “Afterlife,” which scored $38.7 million in its second outing, could face tough competition this weekend as Fox’s “Wall Street” opens day and date in 40 territories, including larger markets like Argentina and Australia.
Though international auds will have to wait for 3D toon “Legend of the Guardians,” Warner Bros. hopes Stateside fanboys and 3D enthusiasts will warm to helmer Zack Snyder’s first family-targeted offering. Based on the popular young adult series by author Kathryn Lasky, “Legend” tells the epic story of owl warriors who battle to preserve their way of life.
The PG-rated toon, from animation studio Animal Logic (“Happy Feet”), features an Aussie-heavy voice cast led by Jim Sturgess, Sam Neill, Geoffrey Rush, Abbie Cornish and Ryan Kwanten.
Warner has actively promoted the film’s family-friendly aspects, especially its animation pedigree. But B.O. observers and critics have suggested that Snyder’s pic may be too violent for younger kids, while the helmer’s usual fanbase could be turned off by Warner’s kid-centric marketing approach.
Still, most studio rivals expect the film to perform near the mid- to low-20s, boosted by 2,479 3D locations, the largest 3D rollout to date, of which 193 are Imax. While animated films have dropped in opening 3D shares this summer, recent 3D pics have gained steam with the format, thanks largely to added 3D screens. “Afterlife” is the most recent 3D title to enter the market, scoring 84% of its $26.7 million opening from 3D-equipped engagements.
Recent adult-oriented pics have earned top marks among auds, which could bode well for Fox’s “Wall Street,” though Warner holdover “The Town,” which scored $23.8 million during opening weekend, could still divert some older auds’ attention. “Town” cumed $31 million domestically as of Wednesday.
Fox’s original “Wall Street” grossed $43.8 million in 1987. Michael Douglas returns as the greedy Gordon Gekko, with newcomers Shia LaBeouf, Carey Mulligan and Josh Brolin.
Though the film’s subject of financial upheavals is timely, it’s uncertain whether auds will find the theme unseemly in hard times or simply not recall the original pic.
Femmes under 25 are expected to make up the core demo for Disney’s “You Again.” Directed by Andy Fickman, the film toplines Kristen Bell and Jamie Lee Curtis as a mother-daughter pair pitted against their respective high school rivals, played by Odette Yustman and Sigourney Weaver.
Disney is also playing up the pic’s third-generation powerhouse Betty White, who has seen a resurgence after last year’s “The Proposal” and hosting duties on “Saturday Night Live.”
“The Proposal,” also from Disney, debuted with $33.6 million, while the Mouse House’s other 2010 Bell title, “When in Rome,” opened to $12.4 million. Disney said it expects “You Again” will land nearer to the latter.
Also entering their second weeks are Sony’s “Easy A,” which got off to a good start with $17.7 million, and Lionsgate’s “Alpha and Omega,” which failed to gain much traction, totaling just $9.1 million during opening weekend.
Two specialty pics expand today after earning solid per-screen averages last weekend: “Never Let Me Go” and “Catfish.” The former, from Fox Searchlight, debuted at four locations with an average of $27,934 per screen and expands to 26 engagements. Rogue’s social network thriller, with Universal distribbing, expands to 53 locations after debuting at 12 with a per-screen average of $21,440. Domestic totals for “Never Let Me Go” reached $186,830 as of Wednesday; “Catfish” has grossed $333,922.