Stallone’s ‘Expendables’ Is Top Weekend Film Again

“The Expendables” survived an onslaught of new releases to hold on to the top slot at U.S. and Canadian theaters, taking in $17 million in ticket sales for Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.

The action film, directed by and starring Sylvester Stallone, outdrew the debuts of two parodies and three comedies in its second week even as sales for the movie fell 53 percent. “Vampires Suck” took second, researcher Hollywood.com Box- Office said yesterday in an e-mailed statement.

“The Expendables” has a cast that includes Jet Li, Steve Austin, and Jason Statham, with cameos by Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger. The film is the first from Lions Gate to stay at No. 1 for two weeks since Tyler Perry’s “Madea Goes to Jail” held the spot in February, according to Hollywood.com.

“It’s a relatively low-grossing No. 1, but it’s also late August,” said Brandon Gray, president of Box Office Mojo, based in Sherman Oaks, California. “The gimmick of all these action stars in one movie has paid off.”

“Vampires Suck,” which opened on Aug. 18, parodies the “Twilight” vampire series and had sales of $12.2 million for News Corp.’s Fox studio.

‘Lottery Ticket’

“Eat Pray Love” was third, dropping one spot, with $12.1 million in receipts for Sony Corp. Julia Roberts stars in the drama, which is based on the memoir by Elizabeth Gilbert. Roberts portrays Gilbert, who travels the world after a painful divorce, looking for new meaning in her life.

“Lottery Ticket” was fourth with $10.7 million for Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros. studio. Bow Wow stars as Kevin Carson, who wins a $370 million dollar lottery and must hold off envious neighbors in his housing project.

“Arguably, the strongest picture of the new releases was ‘Lottery,’” Gray said. “It had the lowest theater count and similar movies have done less business.”

“Lottery Ticket” was released in 1,973 theaters, while “The Expendables” was in 3,270, according to Hollywood.com.

“The Other Guys” fell to fifth place from third with $10.2 million for Sony. The buddy-cop spoof features Will Ferrell as a tightly-wound forensic accountant who partners with loose-cannon Mark Wahlberg. The movie has taken in $88.3 million in three weeks.

‘Nanny McPhee Returns’

“Piranha 3-D” was sixth. It stars Jerry O’Connell, Ving Rhames and Elisabeth Shue in a horror-comedy that spoofs “Jaws.” It had sales of $10.1 million for Weinstein/Dimension Films.

“The Switch,” a romantic comedy starring Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman, opened in seventh place with $8.44 million for Miramax. “Nanny McPhee Returns,” written by and starring Emma Thompson, was eighth with receipts of $8.41 million for Universal.

“The new releases performed as they were destined to,” Gray said. “They largely catered to different audiences, but the movies themselves just weren’t appealing enough to take it to the next level.”

Weekend sales for the top 12 films fell 1.2 percent to $110.3 million from $111.6 million a year earlier, Hollywood.com said. Year-to-date receipts total $7.36 billion, up 4.3 percent from $7.05 billion. Attendance has fallen 1.2 percent this year.

The following table has figures provided by studios to Los Angeles-based Hollywood.com. The amounts are based on actual ticket sales for Aug. 20-22.

                     Rev.             Avg./    Pct.    Total
Movie               (mln) Theaters  Theater    Chg.    (mln) Wks
================================================================
1 THE EXPENDABLES     17.0   3,270    5,189    -51     65.4    2
2 VAMPIRES SUCK       12.2   3,233    3,774     --     18.6    1
3 EAT PRAY LOVE       12.1   3,082    3,930    -48     47.2    2
4 LOTTERY TICKET      10.7   1,973    5,399     --     10.7    1
5 THE OTHER GUYS      10.2   3,472    2,927    -42     88.3    3
6 PIRANHA (3-D)       10.1   2,470    4,092     --     10.1    1
7 THE SWITCH           8.4   2,012    4,193     --      8.4    1
8 NANNY MCPHEE         8.4   2,784    3,020     --      8.4    1
9 INCEPTION            7.8   2,401    3,265    -31    262.0    6
10 SCOTT PILGRIM       5.2   2,820    1,845    -51     20.9    2
11 DESPICABLE ME       4.7   2,236    2,085    -33    231.1    7
12 DINNER FOR SCHMUCKS 3.5   2,149    1,638    -44     65.8    4


Top 12 Films Grosses

   This Week     Year Ago      Pct.
     (mln)         (mln)       Chg.
===================================
    $110.3        $111.6       -1.2


Year-to-date Revenue

     2010          2009
      YTD           YTD        Pct.
     (mln)         (mln)       Chg.
===================================
    $7,356        $7,050       +4.3


Year-to-date Attendance:      -1.2%




To contact the reporters on this story:
Alex Sherman in New York at 
asherman6@bloomberg.net.
Gabrielle Coppola in New York at 
gcoppola@bloomberg.net;


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