Box Office: The Expendables Hold off Piranhas, Sucky Vampires and Jennifer Aniston Romcom

Despite having five new studio entries opening in the same weekend against it (or perhaps because of it?), Sylvester Stallone’s “The Expendables” proved its mettle for the second straight week by taking the top spot two weeks in a roll. The musclebound film took in another $16.5 million in its second week, according to studio estimates, giving it just south of $65 million in two weeks of release so far. Made for an estimated $80 million budget, the film still has to open overseas, and remember, Hollywood action movies with big-name recognizable action stars almost always do better overseas than they do at home, so the future looks mighty bright for Stallone and company.

But as hinted at above, while having five studio releases opening against you translates into some major competition, maybe having as many as five very diverse movies also diluted the competition. Out of the five, you had one schlocky horror movie about killer fishes, an “urban” comedy (re: mostly black cast), a vampire movie parody, a kid’s comedy in “Nanny McPhee Returns”, and yet another needless Jennifer Aniston romcom. Those are five completely different genres, so it’s no wonder “The Expendables” still managed to retain the top spot.

Of the five new major releases, only “Vampires Suck” managed to come close to taking down the muscleheads. The relatively low-budget vampire parody (it was made on $20 million budget) turned a nice profit on its first week with $12.2 million over the weekend (and $18.5 for the week), and should easily prove to be another winner for writers/directors Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer (right), the same duo behind other easy target parodies “Disaster Movie”, “Meet the Spartans”, “Epic Movie”, and “Date Movie”. You won’t find a whole lot of people with a whole lot of nice things to say about the filmmaking duo, but give them this: their films still make money, which means they’ll keep cranking out this stuff, and really, at the end of the day, whose fault is that? You. Well, not “you” reading this (if you have the good taste to read this site, I’m guessing you also have the good taste to take in the killer fish movie instead this weekend), but the “you” who went out to see it with your buddies. Yeah, you. You suck.

Meanwhile, Alexandre Aja’s “Piranha 3D” couldn’t muster enough fanboy online love to break into the Top 5 in its debut. The campy, over-the-top killer fish movie (in 3D!) earned $10 million in its debut despite over-the-moon reviews from the online genre community (including our very own Brent). But don’t cry for “Piranha 3D”. The film was made for a measly $25 million, and should easily recoup its production costs by the end of its theatrical run. A movie like this, with its premise and colorful plotline, was always destined to make its bones on DVD and cable anyway. Expect a boatload of “Unrated” and “Director’s Cut” type DVD versions in a few months.

On the other hand, you can go ahead and start crying for “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”. Edgar Wright’s comic book movie continues to struggle mightily at the box office, taking in an additional $5 million in its second week, just barely good enough not to fall out of the Top 10 completely. The $60 million dollar movie has made $20.7 million in two weeks of release so far. I guess you can say Scott Pilgrim took on the world, and the world beat the shit out of him. Better luck next time, Scott. And, er, Edgar Wright.

1 —–The Expendables —–$16,500,000 —–$64,890,000
2 —–Vampires Suck —–$12,200,000—– $18,564,000
3 —–Eat Pray Love —–$12,000,000 —– $47,100,000
4 —–Lottery Ticket —–$11,125,000—– $11,125,000
5 —–The Other Guys —–$10,100,000 —– $88,190,000
6 —–Piranha 3D—– $10,035,000—– $10,035,000
7 —–Nanny McPhee Returns —–$8,310,000 —–$8,310,000
8 —–The Switch —– $8,100,000 —–$8,100,000
9 —–Inception —–$7,655,000—– $261,848,000
10 —–Scott Pilgrim vs. the World—–$5,034,000—– $20,730,000