Weekend box office: greed is still pretty good

Things turned out at this weekend’s box office more or less as predicted on Thursday. “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” came in on top at an estimated $19 million for Fox, according to the Box Office Mojo chart, about a million or two shy of the figures being bandied about, but close enough for an adult skewing film expected to have decent legs. Nikki Finke thinks it may have missed it’s moment in terms of being a topical must-see and also avoiding some bad press provided by the mouthy Oliver Stone. Maybe. She also points out that Fox hasn’t exactly been on a hot streak this summer. Still, this is actually a career high, raw cash wise, for Stone and not too bad a showing for the longest break between an original and a sequel since Martin Scorsese and Paul Newman dared to follow-up the genuine classic, “The Hustler,” with his underrated non-classic, “The Color of Money,” a quarter century after the fact.

Following not so far behind, really, is Warners’ “Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole” which earned an estimated $16.3 million. Anthony D’Allesandro is calling the film a “bomb” along the lines of the recent “Cats and Dogs” sequel. That may be accurate compared to what family films like this usually make and in light an as yet unspecified large budget but it’s still within a couple of million of this weekend’s $50-70 million live-action hit.

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While the books might have had an audience, something just seemed generally awry and the film lacked a clear premise for non-fans other than “owls fighting.” Whether or not Zack Snyder, whose early hits are receding in the memory of Hollywood, no doubt, gets to remain in the high end movie big leagues may now be largely dependent on what happens when his strange and zany looking action fantasy, “Sucker Punch,” comes out on 3/25/11.

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Weekend box office never sleeps, does it?

It’s certainly not resting this very busy weekend when the return of Mr. “Greed is Good” himself and a bunch of 3-D fantasy owls will battle for the #1 spot, with any number of other interesting things happening on the sidelines.

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The smart money seems to be pretty positive that “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” will earn in the neighborhood of $20 million and so may end up winning the weekend. At least that’s what I’m reading via jolly Carl DiOrio and the more circumspect Ben Fritz.

The audience for the latest from Oliver Stone skews fairly older, not only because it’s a topical thriller from the bombastic but literate Stone, but because it’s a sequel to a hit movie that is — shockingly for some of us — old enough that 24 year-old co-star Shia LaBeouf was barely a toddler when it first came out. That may help with the film’s longevity since older audiences tend to take their time seeing a new movie. Also, a bit of extra publicity from Gekko-man Michael Douglas‘s well-publicized upbeat battle with cancer might add to awareness over the long term. The reviews, which also have a somewhat stronger effect on older viewers, are only meh-to-okay with somewhat better response from more blue-state-centric “top critics.”

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Not funny, funny — “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger”

The start of a new occasional series in which I wall juxtapose the not-so-funny with the relatively uproarious.

It pains me to start this this international (and Spanish subtitled) trailer for the latest comedy from Woody Allen. The Wood-man was a youthful hero of mine and “Manhattan,” “Broadway Danny Rose,” ‘Zelig,” “Sleeper” and several others of his films rank among my favorite comedies. Still, over the years his humor and also his cinematic artistry has mostly grown stale. A recent interview in which he seems to have an increasingly super-depressive view of existence¬† may offer some hint as to what’s going on, but I think it’s that making movies has become mostly a habit for him. In my view, it might have been better if he had taken a break to do something else — stand-up, maybe — years ago. I could go on, but see for yourself.

Unbelievable cast, maybe one line that made me half smile.

And now, the earlier, much funnier Woody Allen.

The really funny thing about this scene from “Annie Hall” is that, Marshall McLuhan might have been a great media theorist, but either Woody Allen and his co-writer Marshall Brickman wrote complete gibberish for him to say, or he flubbed his line pretty badly. “You mean my whole fallacy is wrong.” (?!) The thing is, no one ever seems to notice because the dialogue is nearly always drowned out by loud laughter.

H/t Rope of Silicon.

  

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