Sylvester Stallone has still got it. The aging actor and filmmaker, most popular for his starring roles in the “Rocky” and “Rambo” franchises, brought the pedal-to-the-metal, blood-pumping (and spewing) antics of 1980s action cinema back to theaters this past weekend with “The Expendables,” taking home first place during a very crowded box-office session.
A star-studded affair featuring various macho men from Jason Statham to Dolph Lundgren, “The Expendables” won over audiences nationwide for a grand total of $35 million in its opening weekend. Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Stallone described the success of “The Expendables” as the “proudest moment” of his career, second only to “Rocky Balboa” in 2006 — and with box-office success currently in the palm of his hand, Stallone is using that energy to dream up an “Expendables” sequel.
“It’s plotted out in my mind’s eye,” the “Expendables” actor/director/writer told THR. “I believe this group has to continue to evolve; it just can’t become the same people. So how do you get new people introduced into the group, and how do you have some of the other people leaving? Those are the challenges.”
Landing in second place was “Eat Pray Love,” the Julia Roberts-starring flick with a target audience considerably less bloodthirsty than those who saw “The Expendables.” Directed by “Glee” creator Ryan Murphy and with an all-star cast that includes James Franco and Javier Bardem, Roberts’ latest earned $23.7 million over the weekend, a modest success given the film’s tough competition and relatively lackluster reviews .
Indeed, reviews weren’t too important for this most recent box-office frame as the critically acclaimed “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” premiered in fifth place with only $10.5 million to its name. Based on the widely adored comic book series created by Bryan Lee O’Malley, “Scott Pilgrim” draws inspiration from various areas of popular culture — video games especially — to create a hilarious and action-packed tale of a young misguided soul’s quest to win his dream girl’s heart. Some fans have argued that numerous free screeners prior to the film’s release assisted in “Scott Pilgrim” ’s box-office demise, though it’s very likely that the comic book adaptation will have a long life on DVD, Blu-ray and other formats, thanks to its cultish fanbase.
Another crowded weekend looms with the Ice Cube-starring “Lottery Ticket” and blood-soaked “Piranha 3D” leading the pack. Jason Bateman and Jennifer Aniston try their luck at love in “The Switch,” while Emma Thompson returns as “Nanny McPhee.” On Wednesday, the “Twilight” franchise gets a stake in the heart from parody flick “Vampires Suck.”
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