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Sly Stallone and “Expendables” satisfy a second week

Five lightweight newcomers fought their hardest but could not knock out the champ, Rocky Balboa originator Sylvester Stallone. The Expendables maintained a bruised grip on the box office, leading the pack with $16.9 million. Vampires Suck, a travesty created by spoof writers Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, tasted the number two spot with $12.2 million. The macabre mockery opened Wednesday leading to an overall five day haul of $18.5 million.

Eat Pray Love traveled to the number three position, though neck-and-neck with Vampires Suck. The Julia Roberts starrer grossed $12 million. Another newcomer Lottery Ticket failed to hit the jackpot. It won $10.6 million in sales, good enough for fourth place and fairly typical of a small African-American family film. The Other Guys squeaked by Piranha 3D by a fraction — both made $10.1 million. The R rated flesh eating fished earned the most acclaim of the weekend, an 81% on RottenTomatoes.com.

Nanny McPhee Returns made a quiet comeback of $8.4 million. Another sequel to a years old family film suffered a tired debut a few weeks ago. Cats and Dogs: the Revenge of Kitty Galore managed to topple out of the top ten this week. The Switch also ran to a seventh place finish of $8.4 million. In a turnaround in estimates the romantic comedy bested “Nanny McPhee.”  Jennifer Aniston typically struggles at the box office and bland advertising was extra weight on a sinking ship.

The Top Ten

  1. 1. The Expendables – $16.9M (weekend)… $65.3M (gross)
  2. 2. Vampires Suck – $12.2M…$18.5M
  3. 3. Eat Pray Love – $12.1M…$47.1M
  4. 4. Lottery Ticket – $10.6M…$10.6M
  5. 5. The Other Guys – $10.1M…$88.1M
  6. 6. Piranha 3D – $10.1M… $10.1M
  7. 7. The Switch – $8.4M … $8.4M
  8. 8. Nanny McPhee Returns – $8.4M… $8.4M
  9. 9. Inception – $7.8M … $262M
  10. 10. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World – $5.2M… $20.8M

Inception and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World complete the top ten. Inception continues to chug along, though on less and less screens around the country. It was plucked from fewer screens than Salt however, which dove from the top ten. It was joined by holdovers Despicable Me, Dinner for Schmucks and Step Up 3D. Scott and all the evil exes will be joining them by next week, when two new movies hit the mainstream.

Takers, an ensemble heist flick opens at 2,000 theaters. The movie has long been delayed and was finally dumped in a late August timeslot. The film community speculates the incarceration of rapper T.I. and fallout from Chris Brown’s alleged domestic assault on pop singer Rihanna were the cause of the setback. Still, such a late summer debut suggests the studio doesn’t have much hope for the picture.

The highest grossing film of all time, Avatar, returns to at least 700 locations. James Cameron has promised nine minutes of additional footage in the special edition which will snatch up both 3D and 2D screens. The final entry is a voyeuristic horror The Last Exorcism which premiers on 2,700 screens. The story of a scam artist who meets his match in the possession of a young girl is sure to contain plenty of bone-breaking, vomit, and ceiling crawling. Hopefully the – rated film will also offer something new to audiences as well.

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