Men 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.