Monday, August 20, 2012

'Expendables 2' powers down with $28 million opening

The original Expendables was something of a sequel itself, trading on the star power of aging action heroes thrust into a situation that demanded their expertise with knives/guns/martial arts. The appeal of seeing these stars again, however, appears to have waned. The Expendables 2 opened to $28.7 million, down from the 2010 film's $34.8 million debut. Overall, audiences liked the Expendables 2 arnold schwarzenegger sylvester stallone bruce willis 2second movie better than the first, giving the second an "A-" rating to the first one's "B+." But is it possible that the sequel only drew the most die-hard genre lovers, who were already eager to give the movie a satisfactory rating? As the summer draws to a close, it's unlikely the sequel will top $100 million, something the first film achieved, but just barely.

Stop-motion animation offering ParaNorman opened to $14 million. That's lower than animation studio LAIKA's previous film, Coraline, which posted an $18 million opening. However, the 3D picture Paranorman ghosts 2performed better than British import Pirates!, which debuted to $11 million earlier this summer. Unless you're Disney/DreamWorks Animation/Illumination, it appears that the animated field is tough. Focus continued its role as a distributor with this movie, which at over three thousand screens is its widest release to date.

The Odd Life of Timothy Green had a middling weekend of $10.9 million. Those that attended gave the sentimental story an "A-" rating, and its Wednesday debut gave it a five-day total of $15.1 million--not so bad. There are plenty of sentimental stories that catch fire at the box office (think: Marley & Me, The Pursuit Odd life of timothy green jennifer garnerof Happyness) but those ones had bigger stars attached. Given that Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton led this picture, the results aren't so bad, although the $25 million budget will certainly take some time to be recouped.

Starring Jordin Sparks and the late Whitney Houston, Sparkle sang for $12 million. Audiences were pleased with the musical remake, giving it an "A" rating. Unlike Timothy Green, this movie only cost $14 Sparkle jordin sparks 1million to make, so it will earn back its budget in no time.

Hope Springs, which earned $9.1 million and eighth place this week, needs to drop minimally in order to be deemed a success. Its 37.9% fall from opening weekend was the lowest of any movie in the top ten, and slightly better than the dip in star Meryl Streep's 2009 film Julie & Julia. That movie leveled its fall to the 20% range by the third week, something Hope Springs will need to do if it wants a "sleeper semi-hit" status.

Perhaps it was the Twilight fans, but Cosmopolis averaged $24,000 per screen at three locations. Will more Twihards turn out to see Robert Pattinson in coming weeks, even if he's not a vampire? My guess is no, though a strong performance in this movie should help Pattinson's career once the vampire franchise is finished.

On Wednesday, real-life couple Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell star in Hit & Run. On Friday, bikes replace cars in the high-speed action movie Premium Rush, which opens opposite the spooky offering The Apparition.


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