‘Expendables’ vs. The Box Office: A Decisive Win

Well, Stallone and company have still got it. Score one for the aging action geezers, they dominated the box office with over $35 Million for the weekend. Expendables, a testosterone laden action movie, was a big hit with men, particularly those who grew up seeing members of the cast in iconic 80’s action movies.

Most people I know who saw it admitted that it was not a great movie, but thought that it delivered exactly what one would expect-lots of senseless action.  That is more than can be said for the priv-lit drama Eat Pray Love.

As you read in our review here on The Flickcast, the movie failed to capture what many women fell in love with from the book.  The inner turmoil of the protagonist was glossed over, disappointing fans of the book.  Still, Eat Pray Love, starring Julia Roberts managed to make  $23.7 Million.  This is the best opening Julia Roberts has had since 2001, when she co-starred in America’s Sweethearts, with Catherine Zeta Jones and John Cusack.

Sadly, Scott Pilgrim vs The World (one of my favorite films of 2010) didn’t fare very well at all. The film placed fifth, and only made $10.5 Million, far below expectations.  This is very similar to what happened with Kick Ass back in April.

Kick Ass was widely anticipated in film circles, hailed by critics and fanboys  alike as a great, original  movie, yet it failed to muster much at the box office.  Kick-Ass debuted to $19 million its opening weekend, shocking prognosticators.  After its entire run, the film only made $48 Million domestically.

Now, we have a film that has gotten even better reviews (as of this writing, it has an 80% on Rotten Tomatoes), and has had most  industry insiders cheering for its success, yet it barely registers in the top five for the weekend.  *Sigh*

Is it more evidence of a widening chasm of taste between critics and the public?  Was it poor marketing?  Was it the backlash against Michael Cera? Or was it just too much of a niche movie to have crossover appeal?  I certainly don’t have the answers, but it does make me die a little inside when originality and artistic risk go unrewarded.

Last week’s holdover The Other Guys came in at number three, dropping about 50% for $18 Million on the weekend.  Inception scored the number four spot, and is poised to hit the $250 Million milestone.

Other notable news outside of the top five:  Salt surpassed $100 Million, and Toy Story 3 crossed the $400 Million mark.

  • Cindi
    August 16, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    Hated EPL, enjoyed Expendables, liked but did not love Inception (sorry all you wanna be intellectuals), loved Salt and Pilgrim. Salt is doing well worldwide, but I think Jolie/Salt and Cera/Pilgrim are a bit overlooked. Next week, not sure I will waste my money on anything new, all look to be DVD appropriate. Maybe the perfect time to see Other Guys?

    • Shannon Hood
      August 18, 2010 at 8:02 pm

      @Cindi I think this week you should go see Piranha 3D. No way is that experience going to be duplicated on DVD. I didn’t see EPL, and I am glad I didn’t. I also was not the biggest fan of Inception. Well made, but not my cup of tea.

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