By David Germain
October 11, 2010
LOS ANGELES — Movie fans have bookmarked the Facebook drama “The Social Network’’ as their weekend favorite.
David Fincher’s saga about personality clashes and legal feuds among the website’s founders took in $15.5 million to remain the No. 1 film for a second straight weekend, according to studio estimates yesterday. Released by Sony, “The Social Network’’ raised its 10-day total to $46.1 million.
Debuting a close second with a so-so $14.6 million weekend was the Warner Bros. romance “Life as We Know It,’’ starring Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel as sparring guardians to an orphaned girl.
Disney’s horse-racing drama “Secretariat,’’ starring Diane Lane, also had a so-so debut, coming in at No. 3 with $12.6 million.
Opening a weak No. 5 with $7 million was Wes Craven’s serial killer thriller “My Soul to Take,’’ released by Rogue Pictures.
In narrower release, the Focus Features tale “It’s Kind of a Funny Story’’ opened at No. 12 with a slim $2 million. The movie stars Keir Gilchrist, Emma Roberts, and Zach Galifianakis in the story of a teen who checks himself into a psychiatric ward.
With great reviews, audience word-of-mouth and Academy Awards buzz, “The Social Network’’ saw its business hold up well, dropping a scant 31 percent from opening weekend.
“It’s the type of picture that people can’t take their eyes off of,’’ said Rory Bruer, head of distribution at Sony. “Just about everyone has said to me that it’s a movie they want to see again, as well. This picture is going to be around for a long time.’’
“The Social Network’’ dominated a field of newcomers and holdovers fighting largely for fans 25 and older, a segment of the audience less likely to jam into theaters than those in their teens and early 20s.
“There’s probably a bit of an overabundance,’’ said Chuck Viane, head of distribution at Disney.
Like other distributors, though, Disney was counting on positive reactions from older fans to keep “Secretariat’’ on track in subsequent weeks. Along with Sony’s “The Social Network,’’ Warner Bros. has maintained strong business for Ben Affleck’s heist thriller “The Town,’’ which took in $6.4 million this weekend and raised its total to $73.8 million after four weeks.
“Typically, this should be a horse race, but if what’s happening this fall continues, this is probably going to play out more like a marathon for all of us,’’ Viane said.