'Expendables' kills the weekend; 'Eat Pray Love' opens strong but 'Scott Pilgrim' disappoints

the-expendablesImage Credit: Karen BallardMen clearly dominated the box office this weekend in a gender battle that pitted Sylvester Stallone’s testosterone-fueled Expendables against Julia Roberts’ Eat Pray Love. The Expendables won the weekend easily, grossing $35 million and a crucial victory for Lionsgate. Eat Pray Love was no slouch either, considering its limited appeal to men. The PG-13 rated travelogue grossed an estimated $23.7 million, making it Roberts’ highest opening as a leading lady since 2001’s America’s Sweethearts.

The other new wide release, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, had a much harder time connecting with audiences. The Michael Cera-starrer grossed only $10.5 million, far less than the studio had hoped. The film from British director Edgar Wright, with a budget of $60 million, was a huge hit at Comic-Con that hasn’t translated to the real world. Those that did attend the hyper-kinetic action love story had a great time, though: The film generated an A- from CinemaScore with audiences under 25 giving it an A. Still, Scott Pilgrim is likely to be viewed as a significant under-performer for the studio.

Last weekend’s holdovers performed in the range expected. The Other Guys lost less than 50 percent of its value for a weekend take of $18 million and a total cume of $70.5 million. Step Up 3D didn’t fare as well. The 3-D dance flick lost some 58 percent of its value for a seventh-place finish and $6.6 million of additional gross. Its total two-week cume stands at $29.5 million.

Inception landed in the fourth spot this weekend. With an additional $11.3 million, Christopher Nolan’s dream scape is on the verge of $250 million. Despicable Me landed in the sixth slot for its sixth weekend in theaters. Losing only 27 percent of its value, the animated hit grossed $6.8 million and now boasts a gross of $222 million. Salt landed in eighth place with $6.3 million. The Anglina Jolie-starrer crossed the $100 million mark this weekend. Dinner for Schmucks landed in ninth place. Losing less than 40 percent of its value for an additional $6.3 million, the Steve Carell-Paul Rudd laugher has now earned $58.8 million after three weekends of release. And Cats and Dogs rounded out the top 10, earning an additional $4 million for a total cume of $35 million.

Summer at the movies is almost over. Come back next weekend to see how Piranha 3-D fares against the return of Nanny McPhee.

Comments (252 total) Add your comment
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  • Andrew

    Toy Story 3 also surpassed the $400 million mark here in America.

    • Jose

      I’m guessing the reason why they’re not reporting it was because they already announced that Toy Story 3 became the highest grossing animated movie worldwide, I don’t remember if it was period or just Pixar, but either way it’s great news. And on Friday they predicted that would happen.

      • Tony

        Im Pretty sure Those that saw Eat Pray Love, was pretty much above age 28, Sux for those that wasted money on it..

  • Jose

    Shoot, and Scott Pilgrim was good.

    • dusen

      It will join the ranks of box office failures that become word of mouth cult hits on DVD…like Office Space.

      • v

        There are worse fates than that. Hope your right.

      • Lou

        A cult following is all good when your budget is around 10 million like Hot Fuzz or Shaun of the Dead, but when it costs 60 million, studios don’t want a cult hit.

        It is a total shame. “Scott Pilgrim” is only second to “Inception” this summer in my mind. I guess it was never meant to be. Are people really that sick of Michael Cera already?

      • jason.

        I think it was a matter of what it was up against: a big-budget action movie and a serious chick-flick.

        I’m also wondering just how wide each release was. I doubt that Pilgrim had as many screens as the Expendables, though it might have had as many as Eat, Pray, Love.

        Still, I find it sad that all Hollywood seems to care about is how much money a movie makes over its first two days…I can only hope that Pilgrim has a strong second week (or a miracle Sunday).

        I mean, I’m sure it’ll do very well on DVD, but if it flops, then Hollywood gets one step closer to taking even fewer risks than it already does (thank God for Inception). The fact that it’s thus far taken a beating from two of the most hackneyed genres possible is already a scary indicator.

        I’m very glad that they covered the whole story in one movie, though; I’ve already given up all hope that they’ll finish the Losers’ story (though everyone I know who saw it loved it, I think I know everyone who saw it…)

        Between the fact that it’s an August weekend, and that it was up against the combined might of ten action stars and something that’s probably right out of Oprah’s Book Club, is it any wonder?

      • Tony

        Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle Didnt Do well in theatres either, Look at it now.

      • Chris

        I’ve already saved it to my Netflix. There are very few movies worth paying 10 dollars for.

      • Bob

        @ Chris; that is why you should pay the whopping 10 dollars for the ones that do so the studios continue to allow them to be made.

      • Jessica

        Yes, people are sick of Michael Cera… The only exception is anything to do with Arrested Development..

      • Steve

        > Are people really that sick of Michael Cera already?

        Yes. And hipster comedies with shy, gawky heroes and indie music meant to underscore important points in general.

    • Jacob

      I’m just happy the thing got made. I had a blast.
      So it tanked; that doesn’t automatically negate its existence.

      • ugh

        and Edgar Wright will keep making kickass movies too. the dvd should prosper

      • J.

        So long as he doesn’t make Kick-Ass. That movie blew!

    • Mary

      Scott Pilgrim was AWESOME!!! I think it’ll do well when it comes to DVD sales. All of my friends and I want to own it after seeing it.

      • Steve

        I didn’t see Scott Pilgrim, but I’ll tell you what kept me away: Michael Cera. He plays the same character every movie. The fact that he can do video game manuevers doesn’t change the fact that he still plays the same awkward, sheepish guy in everything since Arrested Development. It was funny in Superbad, now it’s just old.

      • Chris

        Jessie Eisenberg does it better!

      • Greg

        Steve said it best. Michael Cera is the most typecast actor alive. It’s hard to play the awkward teenager when you’re in your twenties. And everyone has seen it a million times before.

      • Mojo Jojo

        True about Jessie Eisenberg, he was fabu in Zombieland. I love Edgar Wright, love Michael Cera but the trailer for Scott Pilgrim just wasn’t as engaging as Nic & Nora, Kick Ass and Zombieland. The girl they cast looks like Kelly Obsbourne and seemed dull in the trailer.

      • Mary

        @ Steve. Go see it before you judge. Michael Cera gives one of his best performances in Scott Pilgrim. And I’ve seen him in Arrested Development, Juno, and Superbad.

      • Bob

        It’s especially hard to play an awkward teenager when the character your playing is twenty-two. You fail, Greg.

    • Puck

      No…it wasn’t actually. Michael Cera…please

    • John

      The problem with this movie is Michael Cera. He is a one-note actor who plays the same character in every movie. Even putting that aside, who is going to believe that a guy like Cera, whose characters just scream chicken, is going to get in a lot of fights over a girl? Then even if he did, who thinks Cera would even stand a chance? Scott Pilgrim may be a great film, but Cera was the wrong actor and studios keep over-estimating his popularity. He’s the definition of niche.

      • Doc J

        See the movie. It may not be “believable” in any sense of reality, but it works in the movie world. I understand movies are expensive so we all can’t go see everything in the theater, but at some point you should at least catch it on Netflix. My review was: “This is the best movie in which Michael Cera plays the same character”

        Of course if you don’t have any nostalgia over childhood video games, or if you didn’t experience any awkwardly self-centered soul-searching in your early 20s then the movie just might not be for you.

    • Pilgrim fan

      People must see Scott Pilgrim, it was FANTASTIC! Even if you don’t like Cera you still must see this film on the big screen. If you have any memories of playing old Nintendo or Sega games, want to see the most inventive use of VFX since Matrix or just want to see Jason Schwartzman attempt a kung fu fight. And the battle of the bands with Rock n Roll V House Music is immense. People are going to talk about this film for the next 20 years, wont it be great when you can be one of the blessed who say ‘I saw that in a movie theater’?

  • Bulldog

    Julia Robert’s America’s Sweethearts opened with $30.2MM, which is about $41.6MM in today’s box office dollars. So it’s more like $23.7MM for Eat Pray Love, vs., $41.6MM for America’s Sweethearts.

    • tvfan

      America’s Sweethearts had Sandra Bullock and that was why I went to see it.

    • tvfan

      Oops, she wasn’t in it, it was Catherine Zeta-Jones. I knew it was because of Julia that I saw it.

    • ptr

      For once, Eric beats Julia in the B.O

      • Frat-tastic

        I don’t know man, she has some whack ass B.O. Do you remember the red carpet picture where she had all that armpiy hair?

  • Amanda

    Scott pilgrim is only for fugly guys and nerds.I won’t appeal to teenage girls like me.

    • jason.

      no, you probably won’t appeal to teenage girls like you. But thanks for the generalization that the movie is for “fugly guys and nerds”.

      Trust me, I’d rather be in a theatre where I’m not surrounded by self-centred, chatty, text-monsters while wincing through ungodly, formulaic pap.

      • wakeforce

        You don’t like general statements when it’s a movie you like, but don’t mind stereotyping when it’s a movie you hate.

      • jason.

        Yeah, that’s me in a nutshell. *L*

        I wear it like a favourite sweater. But what can you do? She implied that I, my friends and a good number of my coworkers would crack a mirror if we looked in it.

        And she made a typo that I mocked, too. If you’re going to call me on my crap, don’t miss that one. ;)

        I was stereotyping teenage girls, certainly – nine times out of ten these days (possibly 19/20), if I’m in a theatre and there are two or more teenage girls sitting near us, they talk through the whole movie, and shine their texty lights five or more times during the movie. It annoys.

        And I’m probably stereotyping the movies. Was it unfair to presume the Expendables is mostly explosions, fast edits, and puns during killshots, or to guess that E/P/L is primarily geared towards women – almost certainly about a woman “finding herself” after/during/due to some life changing event? I know it was based on a book, and it seems like the kind of book Oprah would give that big, endorsey hug to.

        If it makes you feel any better about me, I went to see “Knight and Day” at a second run theatre on Thursday, and it was so much better than I thought it would be.

        Anyway, as far as lashing out goes, I might be a nerd, but I think I’m a couple of degrees better than “fugly”. Maybe as low as “mildly off-putting”, but more in the realm of “if no-one’s left at closing time and he pays the cab fare”.

      • Punnany

        hahahahahahahaahhahahaa @ Jason

    • Jacob

      Yeah, they really should have had Taylor Lautner or RPattz in the leading role. Because teenage girls is exactly who this movie was made for.

    • Emma

      How was your weekly viewing of Eclipse, Amanda? lol

    • Tara

      Well excuse me, I’m a teenage girl and I loved that movie. Me and my other teenage girl friends want to see it again.

    • Mary

      It’s too smart for some teenage girls like you, Amanda.

      • A Concerned Movie Goer

        Yeah, no, Scott Pilgrim was anything but smart.

      • Mojo Jojo

        Please. What girl describes herself as a ‘teen age girl?’ More likely it’s a ‘middle aged ex-convict.’ Guh-ross.

      • Garrett

        actually it was the smartest and most original thing that has hit a theater in a month and definetley this weekend. Blow em up crap fest, or BY th Book chick flick so if you had really been watching and listening to the script you would understand the genius that is Wright

      • MrSmith

        @A Concerned Movie Goer

        I beg to differ…the freeform flow to characterize the meaninglessness of his daily ramble, the characterization of his (and her) insecurities as “Evil Exes”, and even the fact that Scott Pilgrim starts and pretty much finishes the entire film as a person you wouldn’t even want to know (but probably do)…I have to say that I was very engaged by the story and the characters. It is a very smart movie.

    • Aaron

      It does have lesbians Amanda. I’m sure you will like that part at least.

      • Gabby

        Um, way to out-lame her already lame comment with a lazy comeback.

      • Ed

        Oh, so it’s a movie that appeals to bigoted jerks? Like you? I’ll skip it.

    • reba

      Umm…I’m a a teenage girl and I would appreciate less generalizing. Please keep your lame comments to yourself. Scott Pilgrim was AWESOME. You are missing out on a really witty and kick-ass movie.

    • Scott

      YOU won’t appeal to anybody, you’re right. Maybe you should check your posts before making them.

      • m1

        Way to tell her off! She has no right stating her opinions in a matter-of-fact way! What is she, a commenter? Oh, wait…

  • Someguy

    Scott Pilgrim will do better next weekend, The Expendables pulled much of the same audience.

    • AlexLandes

      You’re right Some Guy. I had planned to see ScottPligrim on Sat after Expendables, but decided for next weekend instead. Can’t wait to see it.

    • thin

      Yeah, I’m gonna say that you’re wrong on both counts there.

      • dusen

        How on earth could it do BETTER in the 2nd weekend?? Name me one movie that opened in WIDE release (not some indie that started in a limited # of theatres) that did better in its second weekend.

        Do you even understand how box office works?

      • Jose

        B Movie

      • Jose

        It was number 2 in its opening weekend then it was number 1 the following weekend.

      • Jose

        Actually, a better example would be that movie that Sandra Bullock won an Oscar for, ticket sales increased 18% the following weekend.

      • m1

        If Salt couldn’t pull it off after Inception had been seen, I doubt it will happen with Scott Pilgrim.

      • Mel

        @ m1: I hold the opinion that Salt was freakishly predicable and not worth the $10. Just sayin my opinion though. At least Scott Pilgrim had me entertained the whole time.

      • dusen

        Jose…Bee Movie: Week 1: 38M, #2 ranking. Week 2: #1 ranking, but ONLY 25M (30% drop from week 1). Nice try though.

      • Frat-tastic


        Rembember that movie about the Titanic? I can’t remember the name, and I know that it was a serious anomaly in almost every way and it’s not a proper comparison for Scott Pilgrim, but it does disprove your comment.

      • dusen

        I stand corrected. Surely Scott Pilgrim will follow in the footsteps of the mighty Titanic.

        Though if I had to bet money on it, I’d think it’s more likely SP will make less next weekend….significantly less.

      • tmad

        Borat also did better its second weekend in release from its first. But that contributed to the increased number of screens it was shown at the following weekend.

      • m1

        @Mel: I found it to be above average entertainment which deserved a certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. Not as complex as Inception, but twisty, well-executed, and fun.

    • Blonkenstein_Is_Here

      Right… – here one for you nerds.. ‘Vampires Suck’ is going to have a bigger weekend than ‘SP’

      You idiots will say and do anything to justify this movie.. it’s a bomb!! get over it already. It did worse in it’s opening weekend than ‘Kick Ass’ , ‘Watchmen’ even ‘Speed Racer’

  • Liz

    I loved the Expendables and can’t wait to see it again. It was such a perfect summer movie.

  • @Amanda

    So true..michael cera is way too ugly to play lead role.I hope this films flops.

    • Chris

      So you would never see a movie starring Gary Oldman, Adrain Brody, Glenn Close, Christopher Walken, John Candy, Seth Rogan, Oprah, Janeane Garofalo because they are not sculpted perfectly?

      You are missing out.

      • Emma

        Hey, now! I think Gary Oldman and Adrian Brody are sculpted just fine, thank you. lol

      • Devin Faraci

        Jeaneane garafalo is a cow.

      • Chris

        I’d rather not see a movie with any of those people in the lead role.

      • DT

        Are you seriously comparing Michael Cera to Oldman, Close, Brody, and Walken? There’s quite a disparity in talent levels there. Those other actors are chameleons who disappear into their roles. Cera is Cera. Sure, it could also be argued that Clooney is always Clooney, but Clooney has real screen presence and charisma, but Cera doesn’t. He’s a non-threatening girly-man that young women too callow for real men can enjoy, but everyone else scratches their heads and says, “Him?”

      • jewelgirl12

        I guess they didn’t see Gary Oldman in the Scarlet Letter with Demi Moore. Hot!

    • Max

      But you would see Stallone??????? I guess Sly is your pretty boy of the year.

  • Kayla

    There’s no God if Scott Pilgrim doesn’t make more than Vampires Suck or Piranha 3D.

    • Mary


    • Steve

      I’ll give you that. I thought Vampires Suck might have been funny until I saw it was directed by Friedberg and Seltzer. I wish they’d get hit by a truck. I’m highly considering writing their studio to stop having them make movies.

  • susan

    I don’t know anyone who goes to a movie to see Julia Roberts. In fact, I know people who stay away because of her. This film will be a success because of the rabid fans of the book – period.

    • Kelly

      Really don’t agree. The book was a tepid success. People wait for Julia Roberts movies, since she does so few of them. Honestly, I hated the book–I thought that the author was a self-loving idiot. I’m only going to see the movie because Roberts hasn’t done a movie since 2003.

      • Allison

        Julia Roberts has become the most overrated actress ever. Just about everything she’s done since Erin Brockovich has been pure crap. You can still probably count on one hand the number of truly good movies she’s done in the last few years. She hasn’t done a movie since 2003? Have you been in a coma for the last 7 years? Most of them have been crap — Mona Lisa Smile, Closer, maybe you remember the steaming pile of crap from last year that was Duplicity? I actually like Julia Roberts a lot. She is talented and she has charm and charisma to spare, but I think she’s bought too much into her own hype. That, or she’s being fed really awful scripts and thinks she can save them.

  • L

    $23.7 million too much for that crap Eat Pray Love.

    • Ben

      How do you know? Did you see it?

  • robinepowell

    I never did understand all the hype behind Scott Prilgrim. It didn’t seem like that great a movie to begin with.

    As for Julia Roberts’ movie, I’m glad it did well. That movie wasn’t given enough praise my movie critics, which just goes to show how wrong critics can be. ;)

    • jason.

      But did you see Scott Pilgrim, or are you just taking financial success as an indicator of artistic merit and overall quality?

      By that logic, “the Expendables” is the closest thing to Shakespeare you’re going to see this week, and I just don’t think that’s the case (though, by my own logic, I can be proven wrong when I see it in a few weeks – maybe Statham is the new Olivier)

      • reba

        Jason you are dead on.

      • Dan

        Scott Pilgrim looked like crap. Are you exptecting people to pay $$ to see something that looks like a big pile of cowchips in the hopes that they may be surprised?

  • mike

    Great, Jeresey Shore beats Mad Men in ratings and Scott Pilgrim doesn’t do well. WTF America?!?!

    • LOL

      America loves crap.

    • Kylie

      It shouldn’t surprise you America prefers mindless entertainment over quality.

      • haverchuck

        please don’t pretend that scott pilgrim is anything more than mindless entertainment…

      • jason.

        It could make you think. I mean, the story is supposed to be about growing up and being able to accept or get past the baggage that people bring into a relationship.

        It’s just that in this case, instead of having long discussions and broody whatnot (hey, it’s late), Scott gets to actually battle the past relationships.

        It’s not high art, certainly, but it’s not just bleeps and nostalgic Nintendo references.

    • W

      USA! USA!

    • Alex

      The fact that a show like Jersey Shore is even ON THE AIR should answer your question.

  • Robert

    couldn’t make the movies this weekend because of work but looking forward to expendables on Monday. Oh yea also looking forward to Scott Pilgrim. Wife went and saw E-P-L and said I would’t have liked it. Definately a chick flick.

  • Zee

    I’m a female and I actually really enjoyed the Expendables. I found it to be hilarious and action packed.

    • Mojo Jojo

      I am a left handed ringtailed lynx from the souther Himalayas and I like it when people specify the age, gender and/or religion when posting a movie review because I am also an aspiring census taker. I have hopes that the ban against using great cats as census takers will be overturned any day now. Cat Power!

      • AJ


      • Kelly

        You are funny. Thanks for the comment.

      • Jennifer

        I think Zee was responding to the assumption that all women would want to see EPL and avoid Expendables. But your comment was quite amusing.

    • Jeff

      Actually, her gender is relevant, since the studio said they were surprised at the number of women who had attended The Expendables, especially in light of EPL premiering the same weekend. So the comment is less funny than douchey.

      • Mojo Jojo

        I have finished my tabulation of responses on this forum; eleventeen females enjoyed Expendables more than Eat Pray Love, and one female lynx preferred eating all the Expendables to watching Eat Pray Love. My calculations may not be accurate, tho, since I do not own a calculator and I live in a jungle with sporadic Wi-Fi access.

  • Chaz Winterbottom

    Scott Pilgrim, a movie targeted at the commonly unpopular crowd, i.e. comic book nerds, and video game fans, turns out to be unpopular with the general masses. Shocker.

    It’s like when Tarantino’s homage to under attended 70’s B movies also went under attended. Why should people pay attention to a movie that doesn’t look like it’s made for them?

    I’m not saying these movies are bad. I’m simply surprised that the studios thought they would have broad appeal.

    • Tess

      I agree. The same thing happened with Kick Ass. People were surprised it didn’t do better. Well, the trailers catered to a specific demo. It doesn’t mean those movies are bad but it just doesn’t bring in a mass general audience. I think Scott Pilgrim did pretty good with such a limited audience. It is possible it may rise due to good word of mouth.

    • Jose

      I just think it’s weird that the film was targeted at “comic book nerds, and video game fans” and thus they had to be the only ones that could enjoy it. I’m neither and I had a blast. Plus we all know that The Expandables is frontloaded and will lose half of its audience next week.

    • Chris


      With out studios taking chances, you don’t get things like Inception, Clockwork Orange, Avatar, and even Twilight. (Who would have thought a movie about vampires that sparkle would give mass appeal.)

      • Chaz Winterbottom

        That’s a good point and I wholeheartedly agree. It’s always nice to see studios work outside their comfort zone, and I applaud them for taking the risk but I think when they do that they should adjust their financial expectations.

      • Steve

        It’s a damn shame. In order for studios to continue to run and produce a quality movie such as Inception every so often, they have to cater to the tastes of mass appeal with the likes of the Twilight movies in order to keep the studio going financially. Sad but true.

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