By Nicole Sperling
Updated September 26, 2010 at 05:18 PM EDT

Image Credit: Barry WetcherWall Street: Money Never Sleeps won a weekend that started off with a bang but ended up weaker than predicted. The Oliver Stone-directed sequel to his 1987 classic generated $19 million for the frame, off from the low $20 million it was expected to gross. The Shia LaBeouf, Michael Douglas-starrer is still a big success for Stone, though, as it marks the veteran director’s highest opening weekend. It also far surpassed Warner Bros. animated owl pic, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole. The Zack Snyder-directed film, which was expected to cross the $20 million mark this weekend, only earned $16.3 million for the frame. Despite the dearth of kid’s fare in the marketplace recently, and the extra bells and whistles Guardians offered with 3-D and IMAX, the film failed to bring in the families.

Audiences, however, liked the owl flick far more than Wall Street. According to exit pollster Cinemascore, audiences gave Guardians an A-, while Wall Street only generated a B-.

Some of the most impressive performances for the frame went to last weekend’s holdovers. The Town saw a weekend haul of $16 million, for a total gross of $49 million. The Ben Affleck-directed heist film seems to really be catching on. It will be interesting to see how it fares next weekend when The Social Network bows nationwide. Easy A also scored a nice gross its second weekend in theaters. The Emma Stone-starrer fell only 40 percent for a take of $10.7 million. The $8 million production has now earned $32.8 million in just ten days of release.

Spot five went to the third new release of the frame, You Again. The Disney film grossed only $8.3 million for its first three days in theaters. Despite an appealing cast of Kristen Bell, Jamie Lee Curtis, Sigourney Weaver, and Betty White, the muddled marketing campaign did little to lure in the female audience the film was directed towards.

Devil also held well its sophomore session. Even with weak reviews, the horror-in-an-elevator film fell only 47 percent for an additional $6.5 million. The film’s two week gross now stands at $21.7 million. Resident Evil: Afterlife took the seventh slot, grossing $4.9 million for a $52 million cume. The film is now the highest-grossing of the series.

Alpha and Omega made $4.7 million its second weekend in theaters. The film dropped 48 percent for a total gross of $15 million. Sony’s Takers grossed another $1.6 million for a total gross of $54.9 million and a ninth spot in the rankings. And Inception rounded out the top ten, earning another $1.2 million its 11th weekend in theaters. The Chris Nolan-directed flick’s total haul now stands at $287 million.

Check back next weekend when The Social Network opens against the horror remake Let Me In and the long-shelved Case 39.