'Expendables' likely to dominate weak group of new releases

expendablesImage Credit: Karen BallardIt’s definitely the dog days of summer. The studios are releasing a handful of leftover product this weekend, none of which is likely to outgross either of last weekend’s top earners: The Expendables or Eat Pray Love. And with so many of the films unlikely to earn much more than $10 million, it will be one underwhelming weekend at the movies. Read on for my predictions.

1. The Expendables: $15 million

Sylvester Stallone’s action mash-up has earned over $45 million since it bowed last weekend. There is sure to be a big fall-off for the R-rated flick this weekend, but with more of the movie-going public interested in this than Eat Pray Love, it’s likely to win the weekend again. I would guess at least a 55 percent drop off, and since this film is likely to kill it overseas, an $82 million budget doesn’t seem like such a bad investment.

2. Eat Pray Love: $13 million

This Julia Roberts-starrer has earned $32 million since it opened on Friday, and I would expect it to drop at least 45 percent its second weekend in theaters. Its appeal is truly just women over 25, and I think with mixed reviews they may not be coming back all that fast for the film’s sophomore session.

3. Vampires Suck: $12 million

This Twilight parody bowed to $4 million on Wednesday, not bad for a little-publicized comedy. And considering there are so many Twilight haters out there, you would think this PG-13 rated flick from the guys behind Disaster Movie and Meet the Spartans could be the next blockbuster. In reality, the comedy will probably eke out a double-digit opening but it might not be much bigger than that. Though Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer scored an $18 million bow with Spartans in January 2008. They could surprise again.

4. Lottery Ticket: $11 million

Warner Bros. has really supported this Alcon Entertainment release starring Bow Wow as a hard-working high school grad who wins the $370 million lottery jackpot. With a supporting cast that includes Ice Cube and Loretta Devine, this middle-of-the-road comedy could connect with audiences and actually do some business.

5. Nanny McPhee Returns: $10 million

Overseas this little sequel is already a smashing success. Earning $62.6 million, this anti-Mary Poppins has clearly won over international audiences. How it does here may not even matter that much. The original bowed in January 2006 to $14 million. It’s unlikely the sequel will reach those heights, especially with so many families readying themselves for back-to-school. Still, the film should wind up with a worldwide gross of $100 million and that clearly doesn’t suck.

6. Piranha 3-D: $9 million

When was the last time there was an R-rated gross-out horror film in the marketplace? Perhaps Piranha 3-D’s successful publicity campaign that’s celebrating the film’s cheese factor will actually lure audiences. It’s still fascinating that Elizabeth Shue is starring in this 3-D flick. Let’s see what happens.

Interestingly, the new release with the biggest stars this weekend is likely to do the least amount of business. The Switch, starring Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman is unlikely to open to more than $6 million. Perhaps the incredibly unpleasant marketing campaign did the job, turning audiences away from two of Hollywood’s most likable stars. Yes, this isn’t a big release for Disney. It’s a Miramax production that’s receiving a perfunctory 1,700 screen release while the studio completes the sale of the once-powerful indie. But you would think that the mainstream premise and solid cast would turn up for more than $6 million.

Come back this weekend for a full report.

Comments (63 total) Add your comment
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  • don

    I’ll bet the people who are stupid enough to waste money on Vampires Suck are probably the same people who were easily amused by Adam Sandler’s latest film for juveniles, Grown-Ups.

    • Brad

      I’m sure you’ve sat through Winter’s Bone or at least the Kids are all right, right?

      • TheCriticizer

        I did and they were both great. I also sat through ‘A Prophet’ which is the best movie of the year so far. Yes, better than ‘Inception’ too.

      • Woot

        Well ‘A Prophet’ and Inception are radically different. It was hard for me to say which one was better at least.

      • Ry

        Inception is way better than A Prophet, Prophet was better than Kids are All Right. They are all better than anything else out there. I think it’s funny that people think they sound smart hating on Inception.

    • Mark S. King

      Mark My Words: Piranha 3-D will have a much bigger opening, and rank #3 for the weekend, at least. The early reviews are great, and audiences will respond to a “zany” gory R-rated slasher throwback. I betcha.

      Mark S. King

      • Joe

        I hope so, too, but I don’t think it’ll happen. Snakes on a Plane didn’t really do it and even well reviewed horror films don’t see to do it lately (example 1: The Crazies)

        Hopefully people will recognize how popcorn fun this is and propel it above the other dreck, but I wouldn’t hold my breath

      • tomm

        What do you say now that the gory movie tanked??? Another ‘Snakes on Plane’!

    • oliverklothsoff

      The only reason I would think of going to Vampires suck is if I knew it would make more money than those crappy Twilight flicks but since that won’t happen I’ll just do the same thing i did for the twilight movies and just not see it.

    • ryan

      Yeah another prude on EW website…good for us! Grown ups had no story but it was the most entertaining comedy of the year it seems, or am I forgetting something. ANd dont say dinner for schmucks.

  • Dean

    I think your underestimating the curiosity cheese factor of Pirahna 3D. I can see it earning 15+ million and finishing in the top 3. Don’t forget about those amped up 3D prices.

  • DW

    I like to believe everyone will hear about the greatness of Scott Pilgrim and boost it to a shocking $50 million second weekend. Anyone want to join me in my fantasy land?

    • Jose

      I’ve been there since last weekend when it premiered number one with $200 million.

    • JP

      If only if only. . . Scott Pilgrim should definitely get something of a boost with the positive reviews its getting. Piranha 3D should find a better audience too. While there are some seldom flix out there worth still checking out. Ones on my list include “The Girl Who Played With Fire” and “Animal Kingdom”

    • Shea

      I really hope “Scott Pilgrim” doesn’t just fade away. It’s one of the three best movies I’ve seen this year.

  • tommy

    I’m thinking Switch will end up in Top 5, and I think you’re underestimating the complete suckitude of Eat Pray Barf.

    • Woot

      I would Watch Eat Pray Love 1239824823409238740298374 times before I paid to see Vampires Suck.

  • Grubi

    I gotta say, I think you’re completely off the mark with these predictions. While The Expendables is likely to win the weekend and Eat Pray Love COULD come in second, the rest of your predictions seem completely unlikely. I have heard almost no advertising for Vampires Suck. When I went to see Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World yesterday (which was excellent by the way), I didn’t even recognize the title for Vampires Suck in the theater queue. I think its likely to tank because for one thing, no one I know has heard of it, and for another, it looks terrible. As for your fourth place finisher, I doubt that will do very well either since Bow Wow and Loretta Devine aren’t much of a draw. I think Piranha 3D is going to do better than you think and will take spot 3. As for The Switch, I’m betting a spot 4 opening for that movie. Jason Bateman has a lot of cred with the young adult crowd and it also seems like a good date movie. My Spot 5 pick is a lot tougher. I think that that could either go to Nanny McPhee Returns, Vampires Suck, Lottery Ticket, or even Scott Pilgrim. When I went yesterday, the theater for Pilgrim was surprising crowded for a middle of the week showing. Due to good word of mouth, its possible that Pilgrim could sneak into the Top 5, but if I have to pick one of these four for spot 5, it’ll probably have to be Nanny McPhee since kids are a huge market and there really aren’t any new movies targeted toward them right now.

    • Vikki Sixx

      I’d like to know what rock you’ve been hiding under if you have seen no advertising for Vampires Suck. I have commented repeatedly over the past month that if I see one more ad for that piece of crap, I am going to kill someone. It’s advertising has been nonstop.

      • dubmc

        That’s probably all in what you watch/consumer. I bet the advertising’s been big on MTV and the like, but pretty minimal across the board. At least in L.A.

      • Grubi

        Dubmc probably right. I don’t watch any MTV or anything like that. Also, lately I’ve been watching almost exclusively on Hulu and Netflix Instant, so I guess my exposure to advertising is somewhat limited.

    • Bryan

      Vampires Suck was number one at the box office on Wednesday. I know it isn’t much but it should earn around the predicted $12 million

  • jake

    I think the Switch has a great premise, unfortunately it’s been a victim of being a miramax film which is going through a sale and not giving it really a wide release, nor a great campaign. I can’t wait to see this — even Regis said that this is a great movie.

  • Koozebane

    Piranha 3D will top the box office with 36 million.

    • CountryClub

      25-30 mil and # 1 for the weekend.

    • tomm

      Both wrong! Hahahahahaha

  • Shawn

    Are you kidding me? Piranha 3D is gonna kill this weekend!

    • Jason

      Nope – it will be this year’s “Snakes on a Plane”

  • Chris

    I’m sure the Expendables will do ok again. The rest I’m not too sure, I guess we’ll have to wait and see. My friends and I have decided to check out Scott Pilgrim. Have fun at the movies all = )

  • tim

    word of mouth will kill the expendables

    • Jeff

      Hardly – it’s a good summer action movie, and I’m recommending it to people I know.

    • CountryClub

      Yeah, I’m guessing you didn’t like it. But I agree with Jeff, most people I know that saw it really enjoyed it. That being said, I think the writer of this article is off. I think Piranha is going to do 25 -30 mil.

  • pinkflyd7

    I will see Pirahna 3D and only Piranha 3D.

  • DonnaInMichigan

    The Switch is opening with 2,012 theaters, not 1,700 like it says in the article. I think it will do more than 6 million….

    As for Eat Pray Love? It won’t make the top 3 this week.

  • Vikki Sixx

    I can’t remember the last time a movie has had me as psyched as Piranha 3-D. Not even the latest Romero Dead movie had me this excited (and I am obsessed with Romero’s Dead movies enough to have ink from them on my body)

  • PIle

    When pirana goes number 3, you will eat your words.

  • PIle

    i mean number 1. My bad

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