By Todd Cunningham
"The Expendables 2" claimed the weekend box office title with $28.7 million in ticket sales, but it wasn't as explosive an opening as expected for Sly Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger and the over-the-hill gang.
The R-rated action sequel from producer Avi Lerner's Millennium Pictures and Lionsgate came in under the $35 million analysts projected and failed to match the numbers put up by the original. That film bowed to $34 million and topped the weekend two years ago, on its way to $274 million in worldwide grosses.
Lionsgate, which is distributing the film, wasn't disappointed that the
geezer gang wasn't quite as bad-ass at the box office this time
"We're focusing on the 'A-' CinemaScore," David Spitz, executive vice president of theatrical distribution at Lionsgate told TheWrap Sunday. "The way the film skewed, 63 percent male, 65 percent over 25, coupled with that good word of mouth sets us up pretty well for the next couple of weeks."
Also on TheWrap: Sylvester Stallone Opens Up About Son's
Stallone wrote the sequel with Richard Wenk but handed the directing chores over to Simon West ("The Mechanic"). In addition to Stallone and Schwarzenegger, in his first real role in eight years, the cast included movie tough guys Dolph Lundgren, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Chuck Norris, Jet Li, Jason Statham, Randy Couture, Terry Crews and Bruce Willis. Liam Hemsworth and Nan Yu are newcomers to the cast.
Photo Gallery: Are Aging Action Heroes Actually Invincible?
Last week's champ "Bourne Legacy" finished No. 2 with $17 million.
Universal's PG-13-rated thriller, the first in the franchise with Jeremy
Renner as the lead instead of Matt Damon, is at the $70 milliion mark in overall
A strong Saturday -- grosses increased 18 percent from its Friday debut -- propelled the stop-action cartoon "ParaNorman" into third place for the weekend at $14 million.
"ParaNorman" is the second outing for Focus and Laika Entertainment, the team behind "Coraline." That movie was an Academy Award nominee for best animated feature and rang up $75 million at the box office in 2009.
The Will Ferrell-Zach Galafianakis political comedy "The Campaign" made $13.3 million and has now made $51.6 million in two weeks.
TriStar's "Sparkle," the final film for the late Whtney Houston, opened to a $12 million. It played strongly with its target demographic: 74 percent of the audience was female and 62 percent was over the age of 35. They liked what they saw, giving it an "A" Cinemascore, but the film didn't play much beyond its base.
Also: What did the critics
"Sparkle" was a passion project for Houston and was to be her film comeback. She said that the original 1976 film, about a Harlem teen fighting to achieve her dream of a singing career, was a big influence on her as a youngster.
Houston and her producing partner Debra Martin Chase ("The Princess Diaries") worked for more than a decade to get the remake off the ground. A Warner Bros. version starring Aaliyah Haughton was derailed by the 22-year-old singer's death in a plane crash in 2001.
Houston, who died in February, received an executive producer credit on "Sparkle." In this Motown-set version, she also stars as the mother of the young singer ("American Idol" winner Jordin Sparks) and her two sisters. Derek Luke and Mike Epps co-star.
In its fifth week, Warner Bros.' "Dark Knight Rises" took in $11.1 million, lifting its domestic gross to nearly $410 million.
Disney's family fable "The Odd Life of Timothy Green" wound up with $10.9 million for the three days, raising its total since opening Wednesday to $15.2 million.
Audiences gave it a "A-" CinemaScore. It stars Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton as a childless couple that buries a box in their backyard, containing all of their wishes for an infant, and soon after find a child (CJ Adams) at their door. Peter Hedges, who directed "Dan in Real Life" and co-wrote "What's Eating Gilbert Grape," writes and directs.
"Hope Springs" took in $9.1 million in its second week, just a 41 percent drop from the previsous week, and raised its overall gross to $35 million.
Here are the top 10 movies this weekend:
"Expendables 2," $28.7M
"Bourne Legacy," $17M
"The Campaign," $13.3M
"Dark Knight Rises," $11.1M
"The Odd Life of Timothy Green," $10.9M
"Hope Springs," $9.1M
"Diary of a Wimpy Kid," $3.8M
"Total Recall," $3.5M
And further more, those "washed up" actors as you call them can STILL whoop some butt on most people in real life! Bring on the REAL tough guys!!! The rest of those pansies don't stand a chance!