Weekend Box Office – THE EXPENDABLES Take Number One with $35 Million

by     Posted 4 years, 9 days ago

The Expendables movie image sllice

If conventional wisdom says that Sylvester Stallone and Julia Roberts are has-beens, than someone clearly forgot to tell their audiences. Both stars are looking like winners today – especially Sylvester Stallone and his oldies action-hero reunion tour, otherwise known as The Expendables.

Title Weekend Total
1 The Expendables $35,035,000 $35
2 Eat Pray Love $23,700,000 $23.7
3 The Other Guys $18,000,000 $70.5
4 Inception $11,370,000 $248.5
5 Scott Pilgrim vs. the World $10,525,000 $10.5
6 Despicable Me $6,760,000 $221.5
7 Step Up 3D $6,620,000 $21.5
8 Salt $6,350,000 $103.5
9 Dinner for Schmucks $6,316,000 $58.8
10 Cats & Dogs 2 $4,075,000 $35.1

The Expendables movie posterIt sounded promising from the jump: Sylvester Stallone and many of the biggest action stars of the past 25 years stuffed into one R-rated, explosives-laden movie. And with each new name that signed on to The Expendables (Jet Li, Mickey Rourke, Jason Statham, etc.) it looked more and more certain that Stallone would pull off a hit – despite the fact that he hasn’t been associated with a certified winner since the early 1990s (although his no-budget Rocky Balboa did turn a nice profit in 2006). Sly is having a good morning, is my point.

The Expendables took in an estimated $35 million from its 3,270 locations for a per screen average of $10,710. That is just $3 million less than Tarantino saw last August with the debut of Inglourious Basterds. And for an action movie with a remarkable 13 named stars featured on its advertising, it was also a relatively inexpensive movie to make at a reported $80 million. The reviews have been mixed, but I’m guessing that pleasing critics was never the goal in getting The Expendables to the screen. With the remaining weeks of summer devoid of likely competition, Stallone and company could easily command a final domestic gross north of $100 million.

Unlike Sylvester Stallone Julia Roberts has had a hit film in the last decade – a couple if you want to count ensemble pics like Ocean’s Eleven and Valentine’s Day. Still, the days when she was the biggest female draw in movies are long gone. And yet, check out her gross this weekend for Eat Pray Love. The adaptation of Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir took in an estimated $23.7 million from 3,082 theatres for a comfortable second place finish on this very competitive, testosterone-heavy weekend.

Just as The Expendables hoped to follow in the footsteps of Inglourious Basterds, Sony wanted Eat Pray Love to follow the course of their own hit Julie & Julia. That adaptation opened to $20 million in mid August of 2009. Eat Pray Love cost a bit more to make than Julie & Julia, and it hasn’t received nearly as much critical support, so the chances of it becoming a blockbuster are slim. Still, I’m sure Julia Roberts would happily accept ‘sleeper’ hit status on this one. That’s about the best a “has-been” can hope for, after all.

The third new release of the week had what the others lacked: great reviews. In fact, at 80% positive on Rotten Tomatoes, Universal’s Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is one of the best reviewed movies of the summer which, as you know, rarely ever translates into cash at the box office.

Scott Pilgrim earned an estimated $10.5 million from its 2,818 theatres. On the plus side, the studio wasn’t expecting a windfall so it would be hard to state that the release was an ill considered bomb. In fact, Pilgrim is already by far director Edgar Wright’s most successful release in the US, where Hot Fuzz topped out at $23.6 million total. As most people agree that the film is both innovative and fun to watch, Scott Pilgrim is destined for a long life as one of those cult classics. I know. It hurts me just to write that down.

In brief holdover news: The Other Guys fell off by about 50% to land at number three on its second weekend. After scoring good midweek numbers the comedy is now on track to become the second biggest hit of Will Ferrell’s career after Talladega Nights. Salt broke the $100 million mark this weekend and Despicable Me continues to enjoy remarkable holds after more than 5 weeks in theatres.

Next week looks to be pretty anemic in terms of big box office news: Vampires Suck launches on Wednesday followed by Piranha 3D and the Jennifer Aniston comedy The Switch on Friday. Hey, isn’t Aniston kind of a has-been? I’d say that’s the one to watch then.

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  • Excpired

    The audience for Scott Pilgrim are some of the most obnoxious people to be in a theater with, ever. Seriously, the second time I went there was this guy who would not shut up; he kept reading everything that popped on screen and continuously saying “that's in the comic book, oh that is too.” Yeah we know, now shut up!

    Then at the end he read the 7 billion coins as being 7 million, what a tard. I seriously wonder if he wasn't mentally disabled because the way he talked he either sounded like he was 7 years old, or had the mind of a 7 year old. The movie is good, but I advice seeing a morning showing so you can avoid the obnoxious audience (who laughs way too much, way too loud and ruins half the jokes because they don't catch the punch lines). For example people laughed through the “What the hell,” joke when Knives has blue hair and then they miss the pee on her joke (which is a far better joke).

  • Excpired

    P.S It is kind of sad that Pilgrim couldn't even beat Inception.

  • k0rrupt

    Good Lord – $10.5 million, and budget is $60 mil + whatever the marketing spend on it was.

    Thats dreadful news

  • MCP

    Go Expendables, FUCK YEA!!
    As for Pilgrim, makes sense. Not a movie that's for alot of people in general.
    I will be seeing Expendables here in a few days and might check out Pilgrim if the $$ is available.

    end of line

  • John

    The problem for Pilgrim was always the demographic. From the start there was an attitude with the marketing of Pilgrim that was a little off-putting – a smug, precocious goof for hipsters. How many people have really read the comic? Not that many in the scheme of things. If adult women are really going to be sucked in but a pretentious crap fest like eat, pay, sob, how many are going to be similarly inclined to see this? How many tween, teen, 20 something girls are going to drag there boyfriends to it the weekend expendables opens? Further, it wasn't quite cool enough for the Tim & Eric audience who consider any attempt to market to them as an act of war. It always felt like Wright and company convinced the studio by saying “hey, my friends all think this will be awesome”. I give Cera credit for using is (fleeting?) bankability to make movies like this. He seems like a survivor and his projects are always at least interesting, even when they fail.

  • Killik0

    A Flop of Floppy Floppiness

  • http://www.twitter.com/TheGuyInThePJs TheGuyInThePJs

    Other than the studio, who really cares what Scott Pilgrim made at the Box Office? I mean, the film is nothing short of Brilliant. While The Dependables was a simple, boring yank-it fest of lame one-liners and weak-ass staged & shot action (minus the ending).

    Scott Pilgrim will be a beloved classic in ten years… The Expendables will be a forgotten has been like most of it's so-called star's in tens years. Oh well, no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the america movie going public.

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  • histeachn

    Seems like you're upset that the same people who went to go see The Expendables DIDN'T go see Scott Pilgrim. Like others have said, it's different demographics, plain and simple. They appeal to different people, just as your comments reveal The Expendables is a film you wouldn't have and hadn't actually seen. Myself, I just wasn't all that interested in Pilgrim, but found a 80s action throwback movie did interest me. I have nothing against Pilgrim: it just didn't grab me.

    Beyond that, I'm inclined to think that calling ANYTHING a classic when it's just been released a bit premature. That's earned over time, and not from pronouncement of it (as much as I liked Watchmen and Kick-Ass, I was kind of annoyed by people calling them classics too soon). Big genre films can receive that just as much as highly stylized ones, but that only really happens after the fact.

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  • Motherfckzombies

    I saw both films this weekend, enjoyed both, but I liked the Expendables more. “Boring yank-it fest of lame one liners and weak-ass staged & shot action” Really? Can you be any more bitter? Are you personally involved in the making of Scott Pilgrim? Or are you just one of those guys that can't accept when a movie you love wasn't loved by audiences? Get over it, man. The people Pilgrim was geared towards were pleased tenfold. It probably didn't help that Michael Cera was cast as Pilgrim. Nearly 90% of the people I know who went to the movies or just friends with, said they were seeing it because they hate Michael Cera so much. He's an extremely one dimensional actor. After this film, I don't see him being top billing for a while.

  • Motherfckzombies

    they weren't seeing it*

  • Ty

    Roberts is a has-been, how does a movie based on a best-selling book post a low 20's weekend and still be called successful? Jolie posted a 36+ opening (better than expendables and up against inception, BTW) and it was simply called solid. And I don't like one actress more than the other, just saying… I think the huge Expendables numbers are retaliation for the Inception frenzy, people were dying for brain-dead entertainment. It all serves a purpose, I suppose. Pilgrim should have done better.

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