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Weekend Box Office: Expendables 2 Shoots Down Competition

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By Chris Kavan - 08/19/12 at 09:41 PM CT

It was another winning weekend for Hollywood, as the top 12 films managed a 21% increase compared to last year, and a bunch of over-the-hill action stars are a big reason why.

The Expendables 2 got off to a decent start with $28.75 million in the top spot. I say decent, because forecasts had pegged the film at around $35 million (on part with the original film's $34.8 million debut). The mostly male (63%) and older (65% over 25) gave it a solid A- score, but it has a lot of work it it wants to match the $103 million of The Expendables. For those who liked the original, the film will be a hit, but for most people, it's just another big, dumb action movie (and really, they're not far off). It will all come down to how it holds up in the following weeks.

The week's other new films opened to pretty good numbers as well: the stop-motion animated film ParaNorman wound up in third with just over $14 million. The somewhat strange aspect of talking to the dead may have limited audiences, who awarded it a B+ overall. Compared to similar films it was down a bit from Coraline's $16.8 million opening but better than the year's earlier effort Pirates! The Band of Misfits ($11.1 million). Although it doesn't have much in the way of animated competition, it will probably have to work to stay in the top five.

Whitney Houston proved to be a good draw as well, her final appearance in film earned Sparkle a $12 million opening - good enough for fifth place. It earned an A from the mostly female (74%) and older (62% over 35) audience, which should mean it will hold up well in the coming weeks. Not bad for a film with such a modest marketing push.

Finally, The Odd Life of Timothy Green opened in seventh place with $10.9 million. It has earned $15.2 million since opening on Wednesday. These kind of live-action family films are, I think, harder to market, so that opening isn't so bad, and audiences also gave it a respectable A-.

Last week's top film, The Bourne Legacy, dropped 55.4% to second place with just over $17 million. It's drop was slightly more than both The Bourne Ultimatum (53 percent) and The Bourne Supremacy (54 percent) and it has made $69.58 million - also running behind the previous films totals of $131.6 million and $98.8 million, respectively. It's still running slightly ahead of the original film's $54.4 million, though it faces an uphill battle to reach that film's final $121.7 million mark.

Rounding out the top five films, The Campaign fell about 50% to wind up in fourth place with $13.4 million for a $51.7 million total in its second week. It's hold is slightly better than Talladega Nights (53 percent), Anchorman (51 percent) and The Other Guys (51 percent) but not quite as good as Step Brothers (47%). While reaching $100 million is still in the ballpark, it's going to have to work pretty hard to get there.

Outside the top five films, The Dark Knight Rises crossed the $400 million mark, and surpassed The Hunger Games, to become the second highest-grossing film of 2012. It's $11.14 million bumped it up to just under $410 million - and moved it up to the 12th-highest grossing film of all time. It still has plenty of life left in it, even after five weeks, and $450 million is not out of the question, though it looks like it's not going to reach The Dark Knight's $533.3 million total.

Although outside of the top 10, Ice Age: Continental Drift passed the $150 million mark in its sixth week in release, taking in $2.95 million and winding up with $150.1 million. While its domestic total is still behind all the previous films, it still only cost $95 million, which means we'll probably see another Ice Age film before too long.

Next week the action/comedy Hit & Run drives off, Joseph Gordon-Levitt makes a thriller about a bike messenger with Premium Rush and The Apparition is the first in a wave of horror films that will be popping up in the coming weeks.


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