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Weekend Box Office: Feathers fly as Oliver Stone swats owls

The economy may be tanking, but Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps was a hottest commodity on the market, earning a $19 million return on investment before the closing bell rang.

Okay, let’s try that again without clichés. How about in Variety-speak?

23 years after his era-framing pic Wall Street, helmer Oliver Stone drew boffo biz for his sequel Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, which unspooled to $19 million in dividends, despite being nixed by under-30 auds.

Anyway, you get the idea. The new Oliver Stone movie did well enough to win a tepid weekend, no doubt inspiring a new generation of slicksters to take inspiration from what’s intended to be a cautionary tale and help drive tomorrow’s economy into a ditch. When an 85-year-old Stone gets around to making another Wall Street sequel two decades from now (Wall Street: Nurse Please Fetch My Slippers), it’s unlikely the lead roles will be played by 3-D animated owls. Zach Snyder’s Legend Of The Guardians: The Owls Of Ga’Hoole only took back $16.3 million of its $100 million budget, even with the field cleared of family-friendly entertainment. The news was worse for the D.O.A. Sigourney Weaver/Jamie Lee Curtis/Kristen Bell comedy You Again, which opened to $8.3 million despite a supporting turn from Facebook sensation Betty White.

In limited release, two successes with an asterisk: Woody Allen’s latest You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger enjoyed a robust $27,200 per screen on six screens, but will almost certainly fade like other late-period Allen movies. (In his intro to the Toronto Film Festival screening, Allen quipped, “I know how it ends: Low grosses.”) News was better for the education documentary Waiting For Superman, the latest from An Inconvenient Truth director Davis Guggenheim, which took $35,250 on four screens and looks to get a lot of attention as the debate over charter schools heats up. Gaspar Noé’s Enter The Void performed more modestly, but its $14,100 per screen on three screens was still a good start, and cult status seems inevitable. In other business, the Allen Ginsberg biopic Howl earned a tepid $9,000 per screen, and the Ryan-Reynolds-in-a-box movie Buried won $9,500 per screen, a tough start for a film that looks to expand to many more theaters in the coming weeks.

For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo

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