LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - All eyes will be on the theatrical legs of a bunch of aging tough guys this weekend.
"The Expendables," Sylvester Stallone's ensemble actioner about a group of mercenaries hired to overthrow a South American bad guy, will have to slay a mob of five wide openers to repeat atop the domestic heap.
Sly and pals rang up $34.8 million last weekend, so even a modestly severe second-session drop of 55% would yield almost $16 million. That would give it more than a fighting chance to top the weekend rankings.
Universal's Emma Thompson sequel "Nanny McPhee Returns" could prove to be the strongest of the new pictures, with prospects of a three-day launch in the low-teen millions for the family picture.
The original "McPhee" opened with $14.5 million in January 2006, finishing with $47.1 million domestically. Thompson is joined by Maggie Gyllenhaal and Ewan McGregor in supporting roles. The sequel opened in the U.K. and many other international territories in the spring, collecting $62.6 million.
Fox's horror spoof "Vampires Suck" got a two-day head start on Wednesday with an unexpectedly strong $4.1 million, so a five-day haul in the high-teen millions is doable. It should play best with younger women who flock to other fanged films.
Warner Bros.' urban comedy "Lottery Ticket" appears ticketed for the lower-double-digit millions, Dimension's "Piranha 3D" will struggle to reach similar box office waters, and Miramax's Jennifer Aniston romantic comedy "The Switch" is on course for even lower depths. The limp prerelease tracking for "Piranha 3D" follows its failure to secure a screening of the movie at Comic-Con, whose organizers cited excessive gore.