Sylvester Stallone stomps on box office rookies

Sun Aug 22, 2010 1:52pm EDT
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Sylvester Stallone and his merry band of mercenaries in "The Expendables" led the North American box office for a second weekend on Sunday, while new releases starring Emma Thompson and Jennifer Aniston flopped.

"The Expendables" earned about $16.5 million across the United States and Canada during the three days beginning on

Friday, crushing five forgettable newcomers in the dog days of summer.

The 10-day tally for the action thriller rose to $64.9 million, distributor Lionsgate said. It dropped a respectable 53 percent from last weekend, when its $34.8 million opening marked one of the biggest of Stallone's career.

Stallone also directed and co-wrote the independently produced $85 million project, whose multinational lineup includes English tough guy Jason Statham, Sweden's Dolph Lundgren and Chinese martial-arts veteran Jet Li.

Lionsgate, a unit of Lions Gate Entertainment Corp, said the film opened at No. 1 in the U.K. with a four-day tally of about $5.8 million since Thursday.

Best of the North American rookies was the "Twilight" spoof "Vampires Suck," which opened at No. 2 with $12.2 million. The movie could have claimed the crown if it had not opted for a two-day head start by opening on Wednesday to maximize sales before school resumes after the summer break. Its early total stands at $18.6 million, in line with expectations.


Dishonors for the worst flop went to Thompson's "Nanny McPhee Returns," which was seen as having a shot at the top spot. Instead the sequel opened at No. 7 with just $8.3 million. Its 2006 predecessor started off with $14.5 million.   Continued...

<p>Actor Terry Crews (C) poses shirtless for photographers on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, August 19, 2010. Crews and castmates Sylvester Stallone (L), Dolph Lundgren (obscured) and Jason Statham (not in picture) from the film "The Expendables" rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid</p>