‘Wall Street’ sequel in mild rally at box office

Oliver Stone’s “Wall Street” sequel was the top stock on the big board on Sunday although it fell short of blue-chip status with modest earnings of $19 million from movie theatres across the United States and Canada.

“Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” led a field that included two weak newcomers: the 3D “Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole” at No. 2 with $16.3 million, and the Disney romantic comedy “You Again” at No. 5 with $8.3 million.

Last weekend’s champion, writer/director Ben Affleck’s heist thriller “The Town,” slipped to No. 3 with $16 million. The high school comedy “Easy A” was down two to No. 4 with $10.7 million, also in its second weekend.

Box office observers last week had predicted “Wall Street” and “Legend of the Guardians” would each earn more than $20 million, while “You Again” was forecast to hit $10 million. None of the films did well with critics.

But distributor 20th Century Fox said the tally for its “Wall Street” release was “a terrific number.” Chris Aronson, the studio’s senior vice president of domestic distribution, added that he had been hoping for a three-day figure in the high-teen millions.

The News Corp unit was confident the film would hold up over the coming weeks, because it played to an older crowd — 65 percent was aged over 30 — which generally does not rush out to see a movie on opening weekend.