The Sylvester Stallone action film "The Expendables 3" is off to a rocky start at the box office, grossing $875,000 in its Thursday evening showings.
Though on par with the franchise's other Thursday night openings -- "The Expendables 2" grossed $685,000 in its August 2012 midnight opening and "The Expendables" grossed $870,000 in its August 2010 midnight opening -- it is unlikely to top the box office this weekend.
The film is up against buddy comedy "Let's Be Cops," dystopian adventure "The Giver" and franchise "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," which is beginning its second weekend.
Of these, the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" remake is expected to keep its No. 1 spot, according to those who have seen pre-release audience surveys.
The Patrick Hughes-directed "The Expendables 3," distributed by Lionsgate, stars Stallone, Jason Statham, Antonio Banderas and other muscular action stars. Unlike its R-rated predecessors, the third film in the franchise is rated PG-13.
The well-received second installment opened with $28.8 million in August 2012, knocking out competition in the box office. The movie topped out at $85 million in North America but did far better overseas, where it collected 72% of its $305 million global tally.
However, some industry trackers suggest the third film in the franchise may not fare as well in theaters; it was illegally leaked in its entirety on six websites several weeks ago.
As of Friday, the film had received a 36% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and 53% of audiences said they liked it.
The studio expects it to gross between $20 million to $25 million in its opening weekend in the U.S. and Canada.
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