Sony's The Social Network led the domestic box office for a second straight weekend (making it the first repeat winner since The Expendables back in August). The critically acclaimed drama grossed $15.45 million, which was down a very healthy 31 percent from last weekend. After experiencing respectable holds during the midweek, the film picked up momentum in a big way this weekend thanks to strong word of mouth.
The early Oscar hopeful for Best Picture has grossed $46.02 million through ten days of release, placing it 5.5 percent behind the pace of Warner's The Town at the same point in its run. In comparison, The Town grossed $15.61 million in its second weekend, but fell a slightly sharper 34 percent in the process. Look for The Social Network to continue to hold up quite well going forward, especially on weekends.
Warner's Life as We Know It finished in a close second place with a debut of $14.51 million. The PG-13 comedy starring Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel opened in line with pre-release expectations. Life as We Know It claimed first place on Friday, but finished behind The Social Network on both Saturday and Sunday. Life as We Know It opened 19 percent stronger than this year's The Back-up-Plan, but 8 percent softer than this year's Killers (which also featured Heigl). While the film has been poorly reviewed by critics it could still hold up fairly well going forward, in part from having to face very little new direct competition during the next few weeks.
Secretariat was able to open on the low end of expectations, but had to settle for third place in the process. The sports drama from Disney starring Diane Lane and John Malkovich debuted with $12.69 million. Coming as no surprise, Secretariat played stronger in middle-America. However, somewhat surprising was that the film skewed much more towards couples (67 percent) than it did towards families (27 percent). Family audiences not turning out in bigger numbers was a big reason that the film finished in third instead of first this weekend. With that said, Secretariat seems destined to have a very lengthy box office run, especially if it can play stronger with family audiences going forward.
After placing in second each of the past two weekends, Warner's Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole fell two spots to claim fourth this weekend. The 3D computer animated film grossed $6.89 million, which was down 37 percent from the previous weekend. That represented another solid hold for the film, especially with the addition of Secretariat in the marketplace. However, despite displaying strong holding power thus far Legend of the Guardians has still only managed to gross $39.27 million through 17 days of release.
Internationally, Legend of the Guardians grossed $11.7 million from 38 markets. Key debuts included $2.1 million in Mexico and $1.6 million in Brazil. To date Legend of the Guardians has grossed $26.1 million internationally and $65.4 million worldwide.
Rounding out the weekend's top five was My Soul to Take with $6.84 million. The 3D horror film from Universal and Rogue experienced a disappointing opening weekend performance, albeit expectedly so. My Soul to Take registered the smallest debut of any 3D film in wide release thus far in 2010 (the previous low being the recent $9.11 million start of Alpha and Omega). The film opened 32 percent weaker than this year's Piranha 3D, but did open a bit stronger than both of last weekend's horror releases, Case 39 and Let Me In. While grosses were lackluster, 3D admissions were responsible for 86 percent of them.
Further down on this weekend's chart, The Town expanded its lead over Fox's Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. The Town fell a very solid 34 percent to finish in sixth with $6.41 million, while Wall Street 2 nosedived by 54 percent to place in seventh with $4.60 million. To date The Town has grossed a much better than expected $73.85 million through 24 days. Wall Street 2 has performed below expectations with a 17-day total of $43.64 million.
The international battle between the two films has taken a different tone so far, as Wall Street 2 has out-grossed The Town by a significant amount overseas (thanks in part to playing in more territories). Wall Street 2 grossed $10.3 million from 58 international markets this weekend, which brings the film's international total to $37.1 million. The Town grossed $4.2 million from 12 markets, bringing its international total to $19.0 million. Key opening weekends included $2.9 million in the United Kingdom and $2.0 million in Spain for Wall Street 2 and $1.1 million in Italy for The Town.