Jeremy Renner silenced all doubters when he successfully took the "Bourne" franchise to the top of the box office last weekend. But no amount of secret-agent training could help him against the combined might of the who's-who of '80s action stars in "The Expendables 2," which arrives in theaters this weekend.
Box-office experts are predicting a win for "The Expendables 2," despite competition from last weekend's champ "The Bourne Legacy" (which saw Renner replacing series star Matt Damon), stop-motion kid's flick "ParaNorman," Disney's "The Odd Life of Timothy Green," Robert Pattinson's "Cosmopolis" and Whitney Houston's "Sparkle."
" 'Expendables 2' will have plenty of firepower to bury 'Bourne,' " said Jeff Bock, a box-office analyst with Exhibitor Relations.
The sequel reunites Sylvester Stallone (who co-wrote), Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Dolph Lundgren and the rest of the bunch from the original with fellow action vets Jean-Claude Van Damme and Chuck Norris along with newcomer Liam Hemsworth. "The added guns of Van Damme and Norris, plus expanded roles for Arnie and Bruce, should help boost sales higher than the $34 million the original debuted with," Bock predicted.
MovieFanatic.com editor Joel Amos said "The Expendables 2" could even set a record for August. " 'Bourne,' on the other hand, will stay strong and likely come in second," he noted. "But 'ParaNorman' is a wild card."
Featuring the voices of Anna Kendrick and Christopher Mintz-Plasse (among others), "ParaNorman" is about a small boy who is bullied by other kids because he's into horror movies and talks to dead people. His gift ends up being crucial to saving the town. "'ParaNorman' looks like it could be a late summer surprise," said Bock. "Don't be shocked if it debuts upwards of $25 million and good word-of-mouth keeps it haunting theaters through fall."
Disney's "The Odd Life of Timothy Green," about a childless couple whose lives are changed by a boy who springs from their garden, has suffered from negative reviews thus far. Bock said it could still open with $15 million, but Amos noted that the negative reviews will sting. Houston's cinematic swan song, "Sparkle," should debut in the top five, according to Bock, with about $14 million.
Robert Pattinson films that don't have "Twilight" in the title have proven to be a hard sell, so expectations are low for "Cosmopolis," from filmmaker David Cronenberg ("The Fly"). "Pattinson could make more selling a pint of blood on eBay than this film will make over the course of its entire run," Bock said.
Check out everything we've got on "The Expendables 2."