- Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps box office: Starring Michael Douglas and Shia LaBeouf, Oliver Stone’s sequel to his 1987 drama Wall Street has turned out to be a commercial dud in the domestic market.
- In other domestic box office news, Zack Snyder’s computer-animated 3D fantasy Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole and Andy Fickman’s comedy You Again have flopped as well.
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps box office: Starring Michael Douglas and Shia LaBeouf, Oliver Stone’s sequel to his 1987 drama is a commercial misfire
Sept. 24–26 weekend box office: Starring Michael Douglas and Shia LaBeouf, Oliver Stone’s “ripped from the (2008) headlines” drama Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps – the filmmaker’s sequel to his 1987 effort Wall Street – topped the North American (U.S. and Canada only) box office chart with $19 million from 3,565 theaters according to final studio figures found at boxofficemojo.com.
Well, it isn’t. Distributed by 20th Century Fox, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps averaged a mediocre $5,332 per venue, which doesn’t bode at all well for the $70 million production (as always, not including marketing and distribution expenses).
Mixed reviews surely were no help: Stone’s latest – from a screenplay credited to Allan Loeb and Stephen Schiff – has a so-so 64 percent approval rating among the top critics at rottentomatoes.com.
Trailing the original Wall Street & Ben Affleck’s The Town
For comparison’s sake: The original Wall Street – also directed by Oliver Stone and starring eventual Best Actor Academy Award winner Michael Douglas, Charlie Sheen, Daryl Hannah, and Sean Young – opened in December 1987 (the market had also crashed, even if not as loudly, earlier that year) with $4.1 million (about $8.3 million adjusted for inflation) from 730 theaters, averaging $5,622 per venue (about $11,300 today).
Wall Street went on to gross $43.8 million (about $88 million today) in the U.S. and Canada. In all likelihood, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps will be unable to reach that (adjusted) figure.
Here’s another comparison: Targeting the same (or similar) adult audience as Oliver Stone’s Wall Street sequel, Ben Affleck’s The Town debuted a week ago with $23.8 million from 2,861 theaters, averaging $8,321 per site.
This past weekend, The Town may have actually contributed to Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps’ underwhelming launch, as Affleck’s generally well-received heist thriller was down only 35 percent (that’s an Inception-caliber drop-off rate), earning a solid $15.6 million from 2,885 venues ($5,409 average) at no. 3 on the chart.
And let’s not forget that The Town cost a relatively modest $37 million.
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps cast
Besides Michael Douglas as supposedly reformed Wall Street player Gordon Gekko and Shia LaBeouf as young, ambitious investor Jake Moore – who also happens to be Gekko’s prospective son-in-law – the Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps cast includes: Carey Mulligan as Gekko’s estranged daughter and Jake’s love interest; Oscar nominee Josh Brolin (Milk, 2008) as a vengeful rival investor; Oscar winner Susan Sarandon (Dead Man Walking, 1995) as Jake’s mother, a former nurse turned real-estate speculator; and Frank Langella as a businessman whose company goes down following the 2008 stock market crash.
Also in the cast: Jason Clarke and veteran Eli Wallach* (Baby Doll, The Misfits), in addition to cameos by Charlie Sheen and fellow Wall Street performer and two-time Oscar nominee Sylvia Miles (Midnight Cowboy, 1969; Farewell, My Lovely, 1975).
* Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps turned out to be Eli Wallach’s final film appearance. Earlier in 2010, Wallach was seen in a supporting role in Roman Polanski’s political thriller (and commercial underperformer) The Ghost Writer.
International market to the rescue
Update: Oliver Stone’s Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps ultimately collected $52.5 million domestically and a far stronger $82.3 million internationally. Worldwide total: $134.8 million.
That’s a good figure, though hardly enough to cover the production costs of the Wall Street sequel.
Its top international markets were China ($7.1 million), Spain ($6.8 million), the United Kingdom/Ireland ($6.4 million), Japan ($6.4 million), Australia ($6 million), Germany ($5.7 million), France ($4.9 million), and Italy ($4.1 million).
Two flops: Avian-centered fantasy Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole & woman-centered comedy You Again
For the record, rounding out the Top Five movies on this past weekend’s box office chart were:
- At no. 2, Zack Snyder’s computer-animated 3D fantasy adventure Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole debuted with a dismal (in relation to its production cost) $16.1 million from 3,575 venues. Voice cast: Jim Sturgess, Sam Neill, and Helen Mirren. Distributor: Warner Bros. Budget: $80 million.
- At no. 3, The Town (more details further above). Cume: $48.7 million. Cast: Ben Affleck, Jeremy Renner, and Rebecca Hall.
- At no. 4, Will Gluck’s romantic teen comedy Easy A grossed $10.6 million (down 40 percent on its second weekend). Cume: $32.7 million. Cast: Emma Stone and Penn Badgley.
- At no. 5, Andy Fickman’s female-centered comedy You Again debuted with a paltry $8.4 million from 2,548 venues. Cast: Kristen Bell, Jamie Lee Curtis, and three-time Oscar nominee Sigourney Weaver (Aliens, 1986; etc.). Distributor: Walt Disney Studios. Budget: $20 million – modest enough to prevent You Again from becoming an unadulterated bomb.
“Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps Box Office” endnotes
Unless otherwise noted, “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps Box Office: Oliver Stone & Michael Douglas Sequel Flops” box office information via Box Office Mojo. Budget info – which should be taken with a grain of salt – via BOM and/or other sources (e.g., the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Screen Daily, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Deadline.com, etc.).
Comments about Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole, You Again, and other titles being hits/profitable or flops/money-losers at the box office (see paragraph below) are based on the available data about their production budget, additional marketing and distribution expenses (as a general rule of thumb, around 50 percent of the production cost), and worldwide gross (as a general rule of thumb when it comes to the Hollywood studios, around 50–55 percent of the domestic gross and 40 percent of the international gross goes to the distributing/producing companies).
Bear in mind that data regarding rebates, domestic/international sales/pre-sales, and other credits and/or contractual details that help to alleviate/split production costs and apportion revenues are oftentimes unavailable, and that reported international grosses may be incomplete (i.e., not every territory is fully – or even partially – accounted for).
Also bear in mind that ancillary revenues (domestic/global television rights, home video sales, streaming, merchandising, etc.) can represent anywhere between 40–70 percent of a movie’s total take. However, these revenues and their apportionment are only infrequently made public.
Lastly, although a more accurate reflection of a film’s popularity (i.e., its number of tickets sold), inflation-adjusted estimates should be taken with extreme caution. For instance, they’re based on average domestic ticket prices (via the National Association of Theater Owners, unless otherwise noted) whereas numerous major releases scored a large chunk of their box office take at top-priced venues.
Shia LaBeouf and Michael Douglas Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps image: 20th Century Fox.
Kristen Bell You Again movie image: Walt Disney Studios.
“Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps Box Office: Flop Sequel” last updated in April 2023.