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Weekend Report: 'Expendables' Battle On, 'Vampires,' 'Piranha' Settle for Scraps

by Brandon Gray
The Expendables
 

 
August 23, 2010

The weekend's five new nationwide releases were unimposing, allowing The Expendables to claim the top spot again with $17 million, though the muscle-bound action ensemble didn't show any further strength.

The Expendables retreated a typical 51 percent, and its wages grew to $65.4 million in ten days, doubling the final tallies of an average Jason Statham or Jet Li movie. The picture also held better than Sylvester Stallone's last movie, Rambo, and has handily out-grossed it. However, it lost a bit more ground compared to Inglourious Basterds, which was off 49 percent to $19.3 million in its second weekend and had $73 million in the till at the same point last year.

Vampires Suck was the biggest grosser among new releases, draining $12.2 million from approximately 3,400 screens at 3,233 locations for a five-day haul of $18.6 million. With marketing that mostly honed in on Twilight and the vampire craze, the spoof's start was twice as much as the more arbitrary Disaster Movie's debut in August 2008. It also did more initial business than Dance Flick and Superhero Movie, though it fell short of Date Movie, Epic Movie and Meet the Spartans. Distributor 20th Century Fox's exit polling indicated that a whopping 72 percent of its audience was under 21 years old, and 55 percent was female, skewing much younger and less female than The Twilight Saga: Eclipse's opening.

Lottery Ticket scored a decent $10.7 million on close to 2,200 screens at 1,973 locations, which was much greater than Love Don't Cost a Thing, The Longshots and The Cookout albeit not in the league of the Barbershop and Friday movies. Distributor Warner Bros. reported that 51 percent of the audience was female, 57 percent was 25 years and older, and 88 percent was black.

Piranha 3D took a $10.1 million bite out of nearly 2,600 screens at 2,470 locations. Around 2,200 of those locations presented the picture in 3D, which accounted for 95 percent of business. That puts the intentionally cheesy gorefest's opening attendance on par with Splice from earlier this summer and at less than half of Snakes on a Plane and Lake Placid (and even less than Eight Legged Freaks), among comparable titles. Comedic horror generally doesn't grab much of an audience theatrically, and Piranha 3D's marketing used the same playbook as Snakes on a Plane and its ilk, with the feeble hope that the added focus on 3D would attract more moviegoers. Distributor The Weinstein Company's research suggested that 57 percent of the audience was male and 58 percent was 25 years and older.

The Switch delivered $8.4 million at 2,012 locations, which was about the same as Love Happens but more impotent than The Back-Up Plan. The comedy featuring Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman had a largely nondescript advertising campaign, as if the marketers tried to hide the movie's potentially unappealing premise of a man switching the semen in a woman's artificial insemination with his own. Distributor Miramax's exit polling showed that 63 percent of the audience was female, 73 percent was over 25 years old and over 80 percent were couples.

Nanny McPhee Returns lost much of its predecessor's magic, making $8.4 million at 2,784 locations. The first Nanny McPhee debuted to $14.5 million at 1,995 locations over four and a half years ago. Family sequels usually see sizable drop-offs from their predecessors, and Nanny McPhee Returns' plight was exacerbated by time and marketing that lived up to the movie's title and didn't give a compelling reason to see the movie.

For more Vampires Suck, Piranha 3D, Nanny McPhee, and The Switch analysis, click here to read the Weekend Briefing.

Meanwhile, Eat Pray Love lost weight faster than Julie & Julia did last August. The Julia Roberts vehicle slipped 48 percent to $12.1 million, upping its sum to $47.2 million in ten days. By comparison, Julie & Julia dipped 40 percent to $12.1 million in its second weekend, though Eat Pray Love maintained a slight advantage in total gross, thanks to its larger opening.

Down 42 percent, The Other Guys held slightly better than Step Brothers in its third weekend, grossing $10.1 million for an $88.3 million tally in 17 days. Inception saw the smallest decline among nationwide holdovers, easing 31 percent to $7.8 million. That brings its sum to a tremendous $262 million in 38 days. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, on the other hand, took a 51 percent hit, mustering $5.2 million and lifting its coinage to a modest $20.9 million in ten days. Through the same point, Kick-Ass had generated $34.7 million.

Overall weekend business was up one percent from the same timeframe last year, when Inglourious Basterds blasted into theaters, but attendance was middling for the time of year.

Related Story
Weekend Briefing: 'Vampires,' 'Piranha' and Three Others Aim for a Late Summer Nibble

Last Weekend
'Expendables' Pump Up, 'Scott Pilgrim' Powers Down

This Timeframe in Past Years:
2009 -
'Inglourious Basterds' Scalp the Box Office
2008 - 'Tropic Thunder' Tops Again
2007 - 'Superbad' Stays on Top
2006 - 'Invincible' Tackles Top Spot
2005 - 'Virgin,' 'Grimm' Top Glum Weekend

Related Charts
Weekend Box Office Results
2010 Grosses



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