The Reject ReportGreed is good. Greed is legal. Yeah, we’ve heard all that malarkey before, and it’s obvious. Why else would studios release their films on more than 3000 screens in one weekend? That almighty coin that keeps Hollywood turning and those glorious things we call motion pictures hitting left and right ad nauseum.

We’ve got two such films this weekend and two that aren’t opening quite as big. Both of the biggies are pulling in hype based around their respective brand loyalty, but they each have something new to offer, as well. It’s Shia LaBeouf Vs. the talking owls here at the Reject Report. Let the best squawker win.

BIG HITTERS

Neither Oliver Stone nor Michael Douglas are pulling in much box office for Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. Between the two of them, the highest grossing opening weekend was the $21 million You, Me, and Dupree made. Not something to crow about. What you really need to look at here is one Shia LaBeouf. Even his non-tent pole films like Disturbia and Eagle Eye have been able to open higher than anything Stone or Douglas have come out with. The LaBeouf factor mixed with the brand recognition coming from the Wall Street name alone should help the film’s numbers immensely. Look for Stone and Douglas to have their highest openings this weekend.

To see the “greed is good” principal in action, check out the trailer for Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps right here, and take your ’80s brick cell phone with you:

Talking wolves in 3-D didn’t cut it for Lionsgate last weekend, but talking owls in 3-D will more than likely be the winning combo for Warner Brothers here. With flying feather instead of blood and entrails, one might not be fully aware Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole is the latest film from Dawn of the Dead, 300, and Watchmen director Zack Snyder. Those in the know might be aware of it, and that factor might help drive Ga’Hoole‘s numbers up even higher than they would have already been. Snyder is capable of opening a film strong, even when it isn’t a 3-D, animated, IMAX movie.  All of those factors converge on a film that is sure to open well north of the $20-million mark. It could very well even seep into the low $30-million range. Regardless of the numbers, it seems certain the owls will be soaring into that #1 spot.

Slap on your RealD glasses and take a peak at the trailer for Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole right here, and, yes, I had to look up the spelling for Ga’Hoole a few times:

The Betty White revolution continues with You Again. She’s right there, front and center on the poster for the film, even though she might not be the biggest selling point here. Actually, beyond Kristen Bell and the light, rom-com feel of it all, there isn’t much selling You Again. That’s probably why it will likely peak this weekend with low double digits. It could rise up to around $15 million, but that doesn’t seem all that reasonable. Both Sigourney Weaver and Jamie Lee Curtis deserve more in terms of box office receipts, but without an Alien or Halloween title, they aren’t drawing much.

Also not drawing much will be The Virginity Hit, but that might not be an indication of the film’s quality. It’s only opening on around 650 screens, so it’s a wide release at the low end definition of that term. Will Ferrell and Adam McKay are producers on the teen sex comedy presented faux documentary style, but that fact isn’t being presented to the audience very strongly. The Virginity Hit will actually be lucky to even break into the top 10 this weekend, wide release or not.

FAMILIARITIES

Both The Town and Easy A had respectable openings last weekend, and they will both hold on for decent second weekend numbers here. The Town may have a bigger drop than Easy A, but they’ll both be able to pull in an additional $10 million+ here.

Devil and Alpha & Omega will drop down hard. Good word of mouth isn’t keeping the first entry into the Night Chronicles afloat, and the Owls of Ga’Hoole will suck in any kids who want their 3-D animation fix.

After 10 weeks on the charts, it will be here that Christopher Nolan’s Inception falls out of the top 10. It will still be bringing strong numbers even outside the notable chart, and it could brush up at just under $300 million domestically. Worldwide, it’s already crossed over $750 million and sits comfortably in the 35th spot in terms of all-time worldwide box office.

LITTLE OPENERS

I didn’t think it would work either. Ninety minutes of Ryan Reynolds trapped in a coffin, and not once does he flash his abs? The Situation shame you? Nonetheless, director Rodrigo Cortes and Reynold pull out all the stops for Buried, one of the most intense, cinematic experiences I’ve been privy to in quite a while. No, they never cut away from Reynolds’ character (at least, not in the version I saw. Reshoots have occurred since then, and I’m praying the film’s overall structure is still intact), but that doesn’t stop the suspense from building and building and building. Buried opens in 10 markets this weekend. It expands to wide release on October 8th.

Get buried alive with Ryan Reynolds. I know some of you wouldn’t mind that. Hell, I’d be amused by the guy’s wit until the claustrophobia kicked in. Check out the trailer for Buried right here:

I must take this time now and warn you against seeing Enter the Void. Unless you’re the type of person who doesn’t mind three hours of the most brain scraping, mind altering, psychologically damaging film making around, this isn’t your cup of tea. Let’s just say this. Did you see Irreversible? Did you like it? Do you think you can hack another hour of that kind of dizzying and kinetic film making? If you answered yes to all these questions, grab a ticket and step in line. I’ll see you on the other side of this marathon with a big, blue ribbon. Enter the Void opens in select theaters.

Also opening in limited release are Howl opening in Berkeley, San Francisco, and on Video On Demand; You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger in New York and L.A.; , Waiting for Superman in select theaters; and Like Dandelion Dust in a number of markets across the country.

Here’s how the top 10 is shaping up this weekend:

  1. Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole - $32.4m NEW
  2. Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps - $26.5m NEW
  3. The Town - $13.7m (-42.2%)
  4. You Again - $13.2m NEW
  5. Easy A - $10.9m (-38%)
  6. Devil - $5.9m (-51.5%)
  7. Resident Evil: Afterlife - $4m (-59.6%)
  8. Alpha & Omega - $4.5m (-50%)
  9. The Virginity Hit - $2.5m NEW
  10. Takers - $1.6m (-45.5%)

With these numbers the top 10 will be pulling in $115.2 million. Not only is that a 27.2% increase over last weekend and a 32.5% increase from the same weekend last year, but these numbers will give this weekend the biggest box office in September in history. Trust me, I understand some of these numbers are quite conservative. There is a very real possibility both Legend of the Guardians and Wall Street won’t live up to their respective potential. However, there is no denying the potential is there, and that Hollywood greed that is so good could very well be sated this weekend.

We’ll be back on Sunday night to go over the weekend numbers.

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