It was something of a hollow victory this weekend for "The Expendables 2," which held on to the #1 spot during the weakest box office of the year so far, signaling the end of the summer blockbuster season.
Late August is generally a bad time for theaters, and this one was particularly disappointing. "The Bourne Legacy" also held on to its spot at #2, thanks to a crop of underperforming newcomers: "Premium Rush," "Hit and Run" and horror flick "The Apparition," which didn't even manage to crack the top 10.
Speaking with MTV News last week, movie industry experts had predicted another win for "The Expendables 2". Sylvester Stallone's shoot-em-up powerhouse took in another $13.5 million for a two-week total of $52.3 million. During the same time period in 2010, "The Expendables" had already collected $65.4 million. Still, the relatively low-budget sequel is a success for Lionsgate.
Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis weren't the only Republicans celebrating over the weekend. The conservative-leaning documentary "2016: Obama's America" surprised the industry with its $6.2 million gross. The movie played in just 1,091 locations, which is less than a third of the theaters where "The Expendables 2" was available. "2016: Obama's America" opened in limited release nearly two months ago and has collected more than $9 million thus far. The low-budget movie was distributed by indie studio Rocky Mountain Pictures. It's already the sixth-biggest political documentary ever, behind four of Michael Moore's movies and an "Inconvenient Truth," according to BoxOfficeMojo.com.
Author turned director Dinesh D'Souza's anti-Obama documentary almost beat Joseph Gordon-Levitt's bike messenger movie "Hit and Run," which debuted at #7 with $6.3 million despite playing in 2,255 locations. The Sony Pictures action flick carried a reported production budget of $35 million.
"Hit and Run," a comedy starring real life couple Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard (who directed), opened at #10 with $4.6 million. It's the fifth feature from Open Road, which is owned by the AMC and Regal theater chains. "The Apparition" was #12 with just $2.9 million.
The $9.3 million collected by "The Bourne Legacy" was enough to keep it at #2. After 17 days, "Legacy" has collected $85.5 million at the box office. "The Bourne Identity" made $121 million in 2002; "The Bourne Supremacy" took in $176 million in 2004. "The Bourne Ultimatum" earned $227.4 million in 2007. At this point, it seems highly unlikely that "The Bourne Legacy" will match the total of any of the previous franchise entries.
Speaking of 2012 franchise entries, "The Dark Knight Rises" moved up to #11 on the all-time scorecard over the weekend. Christopher Nolan's final entry in his Christian Bale-led trilogy is second to only "The Dark Knight" in terms of Caped Crusader films, though once adjusted for ticket price inflation, Tim Burton's 1989 "Batman" starring Michael Keaton squeezes between them at #2.
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