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Expendables are Explosive, in a Good Way

August 16th, 2010

Two of the three wide releases that opened this past weekend were able to score at the box office and that was enough to lift the total box office to $144 million. This was 8% higher than last weekend and 1% higher than the same weekend last year. Granted, that 1% improvement is well below the rate of inflation, but a win is a win. Year-to-date, 2010 has earned $7.15 billion compared to 2009's pace of $6.85 billion. As we transition into fall, we are in an excellent position to top $10 billion for the second year in a row and set yet another record. Granted, the lack of a Avatar-like megahit coming out could be an issue, but I think 2010 has built up enough of a lead that it won't prevent the yearly box office from reaching 10 digits.

Sylvester Stallone's most recent film, Rambo, disappointed at the box office, which tapped down expectations for The Expendables. However, with a first place, $34.83 million opening, it became the biggest opening weekend of his career, just topping Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over. Reviews were fine for this type of film and if it can have the same legs as The A-Team, for instance, it will reach $100 million in the end.

Eat Love Pray will likely not be as lucky, as the film opened with $23.10 million. Julia Roberts' films do tend to have better than average legs, but its reviews are weak while its internal multiplier was not great. It could have a run similar to American Sweethearts, more of less, which would leave the film with a total of $75 million. Not a bad box office total for this time of year. It should be on pace to earn a profit sometime during its home market run. There is still a chance it will reach $100 million, as it did top Julie & Julia's opening from last year, but that movie also had much better reviews and two stars that were hot at the box office.

The Other Guys fell just over 50% to $17.41 million over the weekend giving it a total of $69.95 million after two. At this pace, $100 million is all but assured, it is just a matter of when. It might not get there next weekend, or the weekend after that, but it will get there, barring some unexpected event.

As expected, Inception added $11.29 million over the weekend for a total of $248.47 million after a month of release. It should get to $250 million either late tonight or early tomorrow, while $300 million is likely out of reach.

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World was Edgar Wright's biggest opening here, sadly it still struggled with $10.61 million landing in fifth place. Reviews are amazing at 81% positive, but that wasn't enough. Hopefully it will have strong word-of-mouth, but even if it does, it will likely have to wait till the home market to find an audience, as I don't think theater owners will be willing to keep the film around for too long.

Moving onto the sophomore class, we find Step Up 3D in seventh place with $6.91 million over the past three days for a total of $29.84 million after ten. That was down 56% from its opening and suggests if they do make another movie in the franchise, it might not earn a theatrical release.

Finally, we have two milestones to talk about. On Saturday, Salt became the 16th film of the year to reach the $100 million mark. Also on Saturday, Toy Story 3 became just the 11th film to reach $400 million domestically, doing so in 58 days.


Filed under: Inception, Salt, The Expendables, Toy Story 3, The Other Guys, Step Up 3D, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Eat Pray Love