Box Office: ‘The Social Network’ Connects With Audiences

David Fincher’s The Social Network piqued the interest of audiences over the weekend and grossed over $23M, on just over 2,770 screens.  That is a full thousand fewer screens than big releases typically get.

The film was enthusiastically embraced by critics, receiving some of the best reviews of the year. According to Cinemascore, the film scored a solid B+ with audiences as well.  There is lots of Oscar talk swirling around this film, and it is unofficially considered a bookend to the upcoming award season. Look for this film to perform in theaters for several weeks.

There seems to be a bit of hand-wringing over the gross of the film, because many thought would make more money.  However, if you look at the per/screen average, the film did quite well, with over $8,300 per a showing.  That simply annihilates the per/screen totals of everything else in the top ten this week.

If the film had opened on more screens, it likely would have grossed more money.  Keep in mind that there are no big name stars in the film (save for Justin Timberlake, who is a co-star,) and David Fincher is still not a household name for mainstream America.

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole maintained its number two spot from last weekend with  $10.8M, with a standard drop of about 32% over opening weekend. After two weeks in release, the film has made about $30M, which is still a long way from its estimated $80M budget.

Last week’s box office champ, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, took a slight tumble to the number three spot with $10.1M.  It had a bit more of a drop-off from opening weekend than is desirable (about 47%.)

Ben Affleck’s crime caper The Town continues to impress, coming in at number four with $10M.  Its three week cumulative take is now $64M, well above its $35M budget. Easy A quietly crept into the top five, earning another $7M in its third week in release.

Newcomers Case 39 and Let Me In were almost neck and neck with around $5.3M each.   Of note outside of the top ten:  Waiting for “Superman,” a documentary about the flailing American public school system, made a robust $11,000 per screen.  In limited release, it only played on 34 screens nationwide.

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