Box Office Report: "The Expendables 2" Out In Front Of Crowded Field

Well, I wasn't even close with my projections this week. As usual, order isn't always that difficult, but I really over-estimated just how much I thought people wanted to check out "The Expendables 2" this weekend. The film still took the top spot, but there wasn't ever much doubt of that happening. Its lesser totals made for a much messier field otherwise though.

Seven films earned at least $10MM this weekend, the most I can remember seeing at any point this year. The total box office was weak this weekend, but that has been the case for the most part this whole month of August.

But since there were no huge hits this weekend, a few films were able to take advantage and scrape together a few extra bucks for themselves. Hit the jump for the full numbers on each film.

"The Expendables 2" opened with $28.7MM this weekend, $10MM-$15MM less than I expected it could get. I don't have a specific number, but it's projected that the budget for this film was right in the $100MM range, and that seems pretty acceptable to me. The previous film, which also opened in the middle of August, made just over $34MM in its first weekend. My guess here is that so many people were disappointed with "The Expendables" (I know I was), that they didn't give this film a chance. That's a shame though, because this film really was so much fun (look for full details on Tuesday's CinemaCast). The film managed to pick up 16-points on Rotten Tomatoes, with critics also preferring this version quite a bit more than the previous one. And as Nathan stated in his review of the film, this installment is what we were all hoping for the last time around; Stallone and his crew finally came through on their promise.

The film hasn't released internationally yet, but the first one made just over $170MM overseas, so I'd expect similar results with this film as well. My hope is that word-of-mouth is strong, and even though it under-performed this weekend, enough people saw it to encourage everyone else who didn't. I'll tell you right now - if you didn't see this movie, go do so. It's a lot of fun, and if you go in with the right mindset, this can be one of the more enjoyable films you've seen so far this year.

In second this weekend was "The Bourne Legacy". As I somewhat expected, it had drops by more than 50% in its second weekend, at 55.4% to be exact. I expected a touch more from this film, but this was at least in the ballpark. So the film now has ten days under its belt, and has amassed $69MM domestically. It has picked up $28MM internationally, but those still aren't very impressive numbers (this film needed to make some scratch overseas just like the previous films of this franchise did, but I'm starting to wonder if that will happen). With a budget of $125MM and a worldwide gross now at $97MM, the film will no doubt make its money back, but I can't imagine the studio was expecting to be in this spot after ten days. Andy reviewed the film and said that the action was fun, but the story left much to be desired. I assume this is getting the opposite treatment than what I'm hoping for with "The Expendables 2", and most people that saw this aren't pushing their friends to go see it. We'll see if this one can pick up any steam internationally; with a weak-ish August field, there's still time.

I'll mention "ParaNorman" by itself since it's a new release this weekend, but otherwise, I'm just going to lump all of the other $10MM+ films this weekend into one block; none did much too extraordinary. But "ParaNorman" was Focus Features' latest clay-mation animated film. The film reviewed very well amongst critics, and I'll be very curious to see what the next few weekends look like for this film. So far, it's amassed $14MM, good for the fourth-highest opening weekend ever amongst stop-motion films (behind "Chicken Run", "Coraline" and "Wallace and Gromit"). Only "Chicken Run" went on to gross $100MM+, so I'd expect this to fall in somewhere similarly with the others, in the $50MM-$75MM range.

As I previously stated, due to so many films all kind of lumping themselves together this weekend, we'll just speed through these in what we'll call the lightning round. You can see the graphic for each of these films below, but just in case you wanted a little something on any of these, here are the films that ranked in the #4 through #7 slots this weekend, in order from top to bottom:

-"The Campaign": Second weekend, managed $13.3MM, bringing its lifetime totals up to $51.6MM. It's also up to #6 on the all-time Political Satire list, with four of the five films ahead of it very much within striking distance.

-"Sparkle" (NR): The film opened with $12MM, which is looking pretty good for that $14MM budget it carries. This one will probably linger in theaters for a while, and should be a good success for the studio.

-"The Dark Knight Rises": Probably the last weekend this film will expect 8-digit totals, but still a nice way to go out. It made $11.1MM this weekend, and in doing so, broke the $400MM mark, now with $409MM domestically. That makes it the fourth-fastest film to reach that mark, behind the expected offenders: "The Avengers", "The Dark Knight", and "Avatar". Overall, mixed with $445MM it's made internationally, the film now owns worldwide gains of more than $855MM.

-"The Odd Life of Timothy Green" (NR): Our last film in this block, and the last new release. On Thursday I said that the studio would be thrilled to reach the $10MM mark this weekend, so with its $10.9MM total, I can only assume that they are. As mentioned in the Weekend Releases post, this film actually got its start on Wednesday, so in adding those extra couple of days, the film has now made $15.1MM. The film probably won't ever amount to a lot, and it hasn't reviewed very well, but my guess is that it will still make its money back for the studio.

Other than that, outside of already noting the weekend feat by "The Dark Knight Rises", and less-than-prominently noting "The Campaign" surpassing the $50MM mark ("Total Recall" also passed this mark, but in a week later than "The Campaign" and with a much bigger budget, not very impressive), the only film I see in the top fifteen this weekend with any real milestones is "Ice Age: Continental Drift". It broke the $150MM mark domestically, and paired with the massive $644MM it's made internationally, that now puts it only a few million away from the $800MM mark; impressive totals for sure.

Anyway, here's the full breakdown of this weekend's numbers, courtesy of Box Office Mojo: