Box office preview: 'Legend of the Guardians' fights 'Wall Street' for top slot |

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Box office preview: 'Legend of the Guardians' fights 'Wall Street' for top slot

legendof-the-guardiansImage Credit: Warner BrosIt’s not every weekend that we get to see owls battling investment bankers for our movie-going dollars. But this frame, Zack Snyder’s longest-titled film ever, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole, takes on an equally verbose film, Oliver Stone’s Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. The two couldn’t be reaching for more different audiences (owls: families; Wall Street: grown-ups), but with the family audience not having a film to call their own in a long while (and, no, we’re not going to count the ho-hum Alpha and Omega), Guardians could win by default. Wall Street has the unfortunate distinction of being smack in the middle of The Town and The Social Network, two films that seem much more anticipated than Stone’s sequel to the iconic “Greed is Good” film of the ’80s. Read on for my predictions.

1. Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole: $22 million

Really? Warring Owls? At first glance this premise doesn’t seem to be the subject matter blockbusters are built on. But it turns out the film comes from a series of best-selling children’s books, and reviews are falling all over the incredible 3-D effects in the film. Plus, you’ve got Zack Snyder on board, the man responsible for the visual stylings of both 300 and The Watchmen. Still, the film is said to be quite violent for the under-eight set, a factor that could prove challenging with concerned parents. Yet, with very little out there for families to see, Guardians could win the frame.

2. Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps: $20 million

It debuted at Cannes to middling reviews and has since received even more from critics across the country. But there is a sense of nostalgia at play here, with Wall Street being one of the iconic movies of the 1980s. Add in Michael Douglas’ graceful battle with cancer, and the must-see factor of Shia LaBeouf, and audiences could come out in a stronger force than the tracking suggests. Whether it can do much more than $20 million remains to be seen.

3. The Town: $14 million

Closing in on $30 million after a week in release, The Town is over-performing across the country. Therefore, its second-weekend drop should be scant, perhaps somewhere around 40 percent for the frame. The combination of Ben Affleck, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, and Blake Lively is proving appealing to a broad swath of moviegoers. This weekend, the film will likely play younger and to more women.

4. Easy A: $10 million

This little $8 million movie has already generated over $21 million in grosses and turned Emma Stone into the star she deserves to be. Weekend two should be pretty strong, with the PG-13-rated teen flick likely to drop in the 40 percent range for the frame.

5 You Again: $8 million

With an innocuous title and a murky premise, this film from director Andy Fickman doesn’t seem to be resonating with many. While it boasts a solid cast of Kristen Bell, Sigourney Weaver, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Betty White, the marketing materials don’t shed much light into the movie’s plot. Older women are the ones most interested, but it’s doubtful they’ll be able to get their significant others to come along for the ride.

In limited release, Paramount Vantage will open Davis Guggenheim’s powerful education documentary Waiting for ‘Superman’ in New York and Los Angeles, while Sony bows its Will Ferrell-produced R-rated low budget, shaky cam flick The Virginity Hit on 650 screens nationwide. Lionsgate will bow its Sundance acquisition Buried starring Ryan Reynolds on ten screens, while Woody Allen’s latest You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger opens on six screens.