‘The Social Network’ Casts Wide Net At The Weekend Box Office

David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin's Facebook feature scores big, while few moviegoers are compelled to see 'Let Me In.'

Would you like to be David Fincher’s friend? According to the weekend’s box-office numbers, it appears that many of you clicked “yes” on the director’s request to see “The Social Network.”

The Box-Office Top Five

#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” ($10.1 million)
#4 “The Town” ($10 million)
#5 “Easy A” ($7 million)

Fincher and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin’s unlikely alliance in “The Social Network” proved itself successful with the mainstream crowd, as the Sony Pictures movie easily won the top spot during its first weekend at the box office. “The Social Network” — starring Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg, the embattled founder of Facebook who finds himself confronted with a number of lawsuits and personal betrayals — cleared the weekend with a strong $23 million debut.

The “birth of Facebook” biopic wasn’t just a success at the box office. “The Social Network” has received nearly unanimous praise from reviewers, with Oscar buzz already building for the film’s director, screenwriter and its young cast.

Despite two other promising newcomers entering the box-office arena this past weekend, “The Social Network” was the only debuting film to walk away with a place in the elite top five. Recent hits “Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole,” “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps,” “The Town” and “Easy A” all claimed the remaining four positions in the top five, leaving scraps for incoming horror flicks “Case 39″ and “Let Me In” with seventh- and eighth-place finishes, respectively.

It’s a particularly disappointing result for “Let Me In,” given the involvement of talented individuals such as “Cloverfield” director Matt Reeves and “Kick-Ass” star Chloe Moretz, not to mention the fact that the film presumably had a pre-established audience thanks to the original Swedish novel and film, “Let the Right One In.” As far as recent vampire movies go, the $5.3 million debut for “Let Me In” was even lower than the $6.3 million yielded by last October’s “Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant.”

Upcoming Releases

Horror gets another shot — in 3-D no less! — with next week’s “My Soul to Take” from Universal Pictures. Warner Bros. attempts to explain “Life As We Know It,” while Diane Lane and John Malkovich ride along with “Secretariat.”

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@roundhoward