Time Warner's `The Town' Debuts as Top Film With $24 Million Ticket Sales

“The Town” was the No. 1 movie in U.S. and Canadian theaters this past weekend, earning $23.8 million in ticket sales for Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros.

The film beat out three other new releases, including “Easy A” from Sony Corp., which was second with $17.7 million, box-office tracker Hollywood.com Box-Office said today in an e- mailed statement.

Directed by actor Ben Affleck, “The Town” is Time Warner’s first No. 1 film since “Inception” in mid-July. Warner Bros. leads all Hollywood studios in sales this year with $1.23 billion as of Sept. 16, a 16 percent share of the market, according to the website Box Office Mojo.

“Affleck is looking to take a page from the Clint Eastwood handbook,” said Paul Dergarabedian, president of Hollywood.com Box-Office. “Strong word-of-mouth likely (will) propel the film well into the fall movie and awards season.”

“The Town,” the second full-length feature directed by Affleck, stars Jon Hamm of “Mad Men” and Blake Lively of “Gossip Girl,” along with Affleck, in a crime drama about a gang of bank robbers in Boston.

“Easy A,” from Sony’s Screen Gems, features Emma Stone as a high school student who relies on rumors spread by her peers to advance her social status. Amanda Bynes, Lisa Kudrow, Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson co-star in the romantic comedy.

‘Devil’

“Devil,” also making its debut, was third with $12.3 million for Universal Pictures. The movie, co-written by M. Night Shyamalan, features five office workers who are stranded in an elevator and fear the devil may be among them.

Sony’s “Resident Evil: Afterlife” finished fourth with $10 million in receipts. It’s the fourth film in the science- fiction series and the first to be shot in 3-D. Milla Jovovich stars as a zombie-fighting warrior in the movie, which is based on the video game from Japan-based Capcom Co.

The 3-D animated film “Alpha and Omega” made its debut in fifth place for Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. with $9.1 million. Two young wolves, voiced by Justin Long and Hayden Panettiere, fall in love even though they are at opposite ends of their pack’s social order.

‘Wall Street’ Sequel

Next weekend, “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps,” the sequel to Oliver Stone’s 1987 “Wall Street,” debuts. Michael Douglas returns as Gordon Gekko and Stone again directs. Shia LaBeouf plays a young Wall Street trader who joins forces with Gekko, who has been released from prison, as they alert the financial community to impending doom.

The 3-D animated film “Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole” also debuts. Helen Mirren, Geoffrey Rush and Anthony LaPaglia are among the actors who lend their voices to an adaptation of the book series written by Kathryn Lasky.

Sales for the top 12 films this past weekend rose 0.1 percent to $87.3 million from a year earlier, Hollywood.com Box- Office said. Year-to-date receipts total $7.94 billion, up 3.9 percent from $7.64 billion. Attendance has fallen 1.7 percent this year.

The following table has figures provided by studios to Los Angeles-based Hollywood.com Box-Office. The amounts are based on actual ticket sales for Sept. 17-19.

Rev. Avg./ Pct. Total Movie (mln) Theaters Theater Chg. (mln) Wks ================================================================ 1 THE TOWN 23.8 2,861 8,322 -- 23.8 1 2 EASY A 17.7 2,856 6,209 -- 17.7 1 3 DEVIL 12.3 2,809 4,375 -- 12.3 1 4 RESIDENT EVIL 10.0 3,209 3,117 -62 43.9 2 5 ALPHA AND OMEGA 9.1 2,625 3,469 -- 9.1 1 6 TAKERS 3.0 2,139 1,415 -47 52.4 4 7 THE AMERICAN 2.7 2,457 1,088 -53 32.8 3 8 THE OTHER GUYS 2.0 1,827 1,079 -41 115.4 7 9 INCEPTION 2.0 1,305 1,507 -30 285.1 10 10 MACHETE 1.8 1,704 1,030 -59 24.4 3 11 EAT PRAY LOVE 1.6 1,668 968 -45 77.6 612 THE EXPENDABLES 1.4 1,854 741 -57 101.0 6

Top 12 Films Grosses

This Week Year Ago Pct.

(mln) (mln) Chg. ===================================

$87.3 $87.3 +0.1

Year-to-date Revenue

2010 2009

YTD YTD Pct.

(mln) (mln) Chg. ===================================

$7,935 $7,640 +3.9

Year-to-date Attendance: -1.7%

To contact the reporters on this story: Chris Dolmetsch in New York at cdolmetsch@bloomberg.net; Alex Sherman in New York at asherman6@bloomberg.net.

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