The sequel featuring a gang of muscular action stars like
While "The Expendables 2" may have claimed the No. 1 position, it failed to meet industry projections that had the movie taking in about $40 million during its opening weekend. The film's disappointing start also falls short of the original's $34.8 million debut in 2010 -- and Lionsgate spent more for the sequel. The studio paid producer Avi Lerner's Millennium Films just under $20 million for rights to distribute the original film in the U.S. and the United Kingdom, but paid $35 million for the same rights to the second movie.
The good news for Lionsgate is that those who saw the film this weekend enjoyed the movie. Opening weekend crowds assigned it an average grade of A-, according to market research firm CinemaScore, indicating strong word of mouth could help the film reach the $103.1 million domestic gross of the original movie. The audience who saw the sequel this weekend was 63% male, and 65% of the crowd was over the age of 25 -- a slightly older demographic than the original attracted despite the addition of 22-year-old
With few high-profile movie releases slated for the remainder of August, the other three films that hit theaters this weekend will also be banking on strong ticket sales in the weeks to come. Like "The Expendables 2," moviegoers loved "Sparkle," giving it an average A grade -- and "Timothy Green" earned an A-. "ParaNorman" -- which received the strongest critical reviews of any of the four new films -- was given a CinemaScore of B+.
"ParaNorman," about a boy who is able to communicate with the dead, is the second stop-motion movie made by Oregon's Laika Entertainment. The animation house's first production,
Overseas, the film played in nine foreign markets this weekend and brought in $2 million, raising its international total to $7.6 million. Universal is hoping "ParaNorman" will fare better overseas than "Coraline" did, as the 2009 flick grossed a lackluster $49.3 million abroad.
"Sparkle" is a remake of a 1976 production about a singing girl group that dreams of becoming successful. The new version, set in the 1960s, stars 22-year-old
[Updated, 11:14 a.m. Aug. 19: Like its predecessor,
Here are the top 10 movies at the domestic box office, according to studio estimates and Hollywood.com:
1. "The Expendables 2" (Lionsgate/Millennium): Opened to $28.8 million.
3. "ParaNorman" (Focus/Laika): Opened to $14 million. $2 million overseas in nine foreign markets. International total: $7.6 million.
5. "Sparkle" (
6. "The Dark Knight Rises" (Warner Bros./Legendary): $11.1 million on its fifth weekend, down 41%. Domestic total: $409.9 million.
7. "The Odd Life of Timothy Green" (Disney): Opened to $10.9 million on its first weekend, $15.2 million since its Wednesday debut.