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Expendables are Indispensable

August 23rd, 2010

If it wasn't for The Expendables, there would be very little good news to report this weekend. None of the five new releases were major hits at the box office, but on the other hand, none were complete bombs either and even the weakest of them had some reason for optimism. The overall box office was down 11% from last weekend to $128 million, but that was close to 1% higher than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2010 has a $300 million lead on 2009 at $7.36 billion to $7.05 billion.

As expected, The Expendables remained in first place with $16.97 million. This was better than expected by enough of a margin that $90 million becomes a lot more likely, while $100 million isn't out of the question. It depends on how well it can hold onto theaters over the coming weeks.

The best of the new releases was Vampires Suck, or to be more specific, the best of the new releases at the box office was Vampires Suck, which opened in second place with $12.20 million over the weekend and $18.57 million since Wednesday. This is almost exactly as predicted and will likely be enough to make sure more films like this are made. This is terrible news for critics, but great news for fans of terrible movies.

Eat Love Pray also matched expectations with $12.11 million over the weekend for a total of $47.21 million. It did fall less than 50% during its sophomore stint, which is better than most films, but that's hardly a major reason to celebrate.

The Lottery Ticket beat expectations landing in fourth place with $10.65 million in just under 2000 theaters for the best per theater average in the top 20. Its reviews are not good, but they are not terrible for this time of the year. In fact, its on par with most of the films in the top five.

The Other Guys managed to grab the final spot in the top five with $10.16 million over the weekend for a total of $88.25 million after three. It will reach $100 million, perhaps as early as this time next week.

Despite earning shockingly good reviews, Piranha 3D missed the top five with $10.11 million. Its per theater average was just over $4000, which is acceptable for this time of year. It was likely a very inexpensive movie to make, while it should be a big hit on the home market, especially with the inevitable Unrated DVD / Blu-ray release.

The Switch was next up with $8.44 million in just 2012 theaters, which was nearly exactly as predicted. Given its reviews, which are good for a romantic comedy, it should have decent legs. On the other hand, its poor opening could result in a stench of failure, which will kill the film before word-of-mouth gets around.

The final wide release of the week was Nanny McPhee Returns. Some of the best reviews in the top ten couldn't save the film, as it only managed $8.41 million. Additionally, with a per theater average barely over $3000, theater owners will likely be looking to drop it ASAP resulting in weak legs, especially compared to other family films. That said, it was a bigger hit in its native market and if it can do well on the home market, the studio should be happy.

Moving onto the sophomore class, we find Scott Pilgrim vs. The World in 10th place with $5.20 million over the weekend and $20.90 million after two. At this point, the best the studio can hope for is a cult following on the home market, but given its reviews, this is very possible.


Filed under: Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang, The Expendables, Lottery Ticket, Piranha 3D, The Other Guys, The Switch, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Eat Pray Love, Vampires Suck