“Expendables 2” claimed the weekend box office title with $28.7 million in ticket sales, but it wasn’t as explosive an opening as expected for Sly Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger and the over-the-hill gang.
The R-rated action sequel from producer Avi Lerner’s Millennium Pictures and Lionsgate came in under the $35 million analysts projected and failed to match the numbers put up by the original. That film bowed to $34 million and topped the weekend two years ago, on its way to $274 million in worldwide grosses.
Lionsgate, which is distributing the film, wasn't disappointed that the geezer gang wasn't as bad-ass at the box office this time around.
“We’re focusing on the ‘A-’ CinemaScore,” David Spitz, executive vice president of theatrical distribution at Lionsgate told TheWrap Sunday. “The way the film skewed, 63 percent male, 65 percent over 25, coupled with that good word of mouth sets us up pretty well for the next couple of weeks.”
Stallone wrote the sequel with Richard Wenk but handed the directing chores over to Simon West (“The Mechanic”). In addition to Stallone and Schwarzenegger, in his first real role in eight years, the cast included movie tough guys Dolph Lundgren, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Chuck Norris, Jet Li, Jason Statham, Randy Couture, Terry Crews and Bruce Willis. Liam Hemsworth and Nan Yu are newcomers to the cast.
Last week's champ "The Bourne Legacy" finished No. 2 with $17 million. Universal's PG-13-rated thriller, the first in the franchise with Jeremy Renner as the lead instead of Matt Damon, is at the $70 milliion mark in overall domestic grosses.
A strong Saturday -- grosses increased 18 percent from its Friday debut -- propelled the stop-action cartoon “ParaNorman” into third place for the weekend at $14 million.
“ParaNorman” is the second outing for Focus and Laika Entertainment, the team behind “Coraline.” That movie was an Academy Award nominee for best animated feature and rang up $75 million at the box office in 2009.
The Will Ferrell-Zach Galafianakis political comedy “The Campaign” made $13.3 million and has now made $51.6 million in two weeks..
TriStar's "Sparkle," the final film for the late Whtney Houston, opened to a $12 million. It played strongly with its target demographic: 74% of the audience was female and 62% was over the age of 35. They liked what they saw, giving it an "A" Cinemascore.
In its fifth week, Warner Bros.’ “Dark Knight Rises” took in $11.1 million, lifting its domestic gross to nearly $410 million
Disney’s family fable “The Odd Life of Timothy Green” wound up with $10.9 million for the three days, raising its total since opening Wednesday to $15.2 million.
Audiences gave it a “A-” CinemaScore. It stars Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton as a childless couple that buries a box in their backyard, containing all of their wishes for an infant, and soon after find a child (CJ Adams) at their door.