Viewers Plug in to ‘The Social Network’ at U.S. Box Office

Rooney Mara (left) and Jesse Einsberg (right) in 'The Social Network'

Thanks to rave reviews from critics, director David Fincher’s long-awaited biopic on the founding of Facebook was a solid hit in the U.S. over the weekend.

With $22.4 million, ‘The Social Network’ easily claimed the number one position, towering over the week’s other new releases.

By contrast, horror movies ‘Case 39’ and ‘Let Me In’ both flopped with only $5.4 million in seventh place and $5.1 million in eighth place respectively.

Using the non-fiction book ‘The Accidental Millionaires’ by Ben Mezrich as its source, the film tells the true story of the founding of the world’s most widely used social networking website.

Originally, Facebook was the passion project of Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Einsberg), a geeky computer genius simply looking to kill time in between his tests and assignments.

However, when Zuckerberg’s software spreads across the country, turning into a national phenomenon and attracting the attention of Napster boss Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake), the lives of him and his friends are forever changed as he becomes one of the most influential men in America overnight.

Despite pre-release scepticism on whether Facebook was a subject capable of producing a successful Hollywood film, many critics have praised ‘The Social Network’ as the best film of the year so far.

In his review for Rolling Stone Magazine, critic Peter Travers’ described the film as ‘the movie of the year, laced with scathing wit and an aching sadness that defines the dark irony of the past decade’[i].

Currently, ‘The Social Network’ has a rating of 97% on film review site Rotten Tomatoes based on reviews from 168 critics, making it the year’s most critically acclaimed live-action film to date.

Among holdovers, children’s film ‘Legend of the Guardians’ declined 32 percent to $10.9 million in second place, raising its total gross to an underwhelming $30.1 million.

Similarly, ‘Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps’ fell to third place in its second weekend with a gross of $10 million, although its take was still considered a success due to the film’s cheaper cost and older target audience.

In fourth place, crime thriller ‘The Town’ declined 38% to $9.7 million in its third weekend, raising its total gross to an impressive $64.1 million.

Rounding out the top five, teen comedy ‘Easy A’ declined 36% to $6.7 million, reaching a similarly impressive total take of $42.2 million.

Top U.S. Box Office Hits

  1. The Social Network  -  $23 million
  2. Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole  -  $10.9 million
  3. Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps  -  $10 million
  4. The Town  -  $9.7 million
  5. Easy A  -  $6.7 million
  6. You Again  -  $5.7 million
  7. Case 39  -  $5.4 million
  8. Let Me In  -  $5.1 million
  9. Devil  -  $3.6 million
  10. Alpha and Omega  -  $2.9 million

[i] ^ “The Social Network, Rolling Stone Movies, News and Reviews”Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2010-09-30.

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