Sylvester Stallone’s Crew Holds Off Five New Movies

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The ComingSoon.net Box Office Report has been updated with studio estimates for the weekend. Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films and then check back on Monday for the final figures based on actual box office.

The Dog Days of Summer are upon us, something made evident by the fact no movies made more than $16.5 million this weekend. That amount was made by Sylvester Stallone’s ensemble action flick The Expendables (Lionsgate), which remained on top of the box office despite the release of five new movies in wide release that covered a wide range of moviegoers’ needs. The Expendables dropped nearly 53% from its opening weekend, and having grossed just under $65 million in ten days, it’s already Lionsgate’s eighth-highest grossing movies with Tyler Perry and “Saw” movies and Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 being ahead of it. It certainly is aiming for the $90 million range made by Saw III and Madea Goes to Jail, putting Sly’s movie in line to become Lionsgate’s third highest-grossing movie. One can probably expect a sequel to be greenlit very soon if not already.

Opening on Wednesday in the most theaters of the new releases, the Friedberg and Seltzer spoof comedy Vampires Suck (20th Century Fox) made $4 million its first day, another $2.3 million on Thursday and then $12.2 million for the weekend. It’s less than some of their earliest hits Date Movie and Epic Movie, but better than their last bomb, Disaster Movie.

Dropping to third place, the Julia Roberts romantic drama Eat Pray Love (Sony) took in roughly $12 million in its second weekend, a 48% drop from last week, bringing its total to $47.1 million.

Ice Cube produced and appeared in the urban comedy Lottery Ticket (Warner Bros.), starring Bow Wow and Brandon T. Jackson, and it sported the highest per-theater average in the Top 10, taking fourth place with $11.1 million in less than 2,000 theaters, roughly $5,600 per site. Although Cube’s previous “Friday” and “Barbershop” comedy franchises fared better, they also didn’t open in late August, a time when it’s difficult for new movies to break out.

The Will Ferrell-Mark Wahlberg cop comedy The Other Guys added another $10.1 million in its third weekend for fifth place, bringing its total to $88.2 million and edging closer to its $100 million production budget.

Opening in sixth place with roughly $10 million, the horror remake Piranha 3D (Dimension Films) may have benefited from 3D ticket prices, being that it was only in 2,400 theaters, but it fared better than Emma Thompson’s Nanny McPhee Returns (Universal), which took seventh with $8.3 million in 300 more theaters.

The Jennifer Aniston-Jason Bateman romantic vehicle The Switch (Miramax) opened in eighth place with $8.1 million, roughly the same as her 2009 romantic drama Love Happens with Aaron Eckhart.

Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi thriller Inception (Warner Bros.) continued to bring in business with another $7.6 million in its sixth weekend for ninth place and a total of $261 million. Currently, it’s the fifth-highest grossing movie of 2010.

With five new movies opening, Edgar Wright’s Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (Universal), starring Michael Cera, took a similar 53% tumble as The Expendables, but it ended up dropping all the way down to #10.

The Top 10 grossed an estimated $101.6 million, down 4% from the same weekend last year when Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds opened in first place with $38.1 million. Although this may have seemed like a bad weekend because no new movies made over $13 million, business was spread out fairly well between the movies in theaters with the Top 8 movies grossing at least $8 million each, which isn’t very common.

Opening in New York and L.A. were two powerful docs that ran into ratings issues with the MPAA, but The Weinstein Company’s The Tillman Story came out ahead of Oscilloscope Pictures’ A Film Unfinished with $52.4 thousand to the latter’s $37.5 thousand.

Click here for the full box office results of the top 12 films.