The Movie: 'The Social Network', directed by David Fincher and starring Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake. The eagerly anticipated account of the beginnings of the Facebook juggernaut arrived as a critical darling but somewhat of a box office question mark. The enthusiastic reviews and awards buzz seemed to preclude a total flop, but the jury was out on the degree to which this cerebral film about a niche-y subject, with almost no big names and an unlikeable protagonist, would appeal to general audiences.
The Target Audience: Upscale and urban. Yuppies; college students. People who recognize the names "Mark Zuckerberg" and "Aaron Sorkin."
The Competition: Slight. 'Case 39' and 'Let Me In', the only other debuts, are both relatively low-profile horror releases, and both turned out to be flops. ('Let Me In' did so shockingly poorly that it really deserves a post of its own; Overture was asleep at the wheel with this immensely creepy, well-reviewed, commercial remake.) That leaves only holdovers 'Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps' and 'The Town', both of which are cooling after relatively strong starts.