Movies | Inside Movies

'Expendables' likely to dominate weak group of new releases

expendablesImage Credit: Karen BallardIt’s definitely the dog days of summer. The studios are releasing a handful of leftover product this weekend, none of which is likely to outgross either of last weekend’s top earners: The Expendables or Eat Pray Love. And with so many of the films unlikely to earn much more than $10 million, it will be one underwhelming weekend at the movies. Read on for my predictions.

1. The Expendables: $15 million

Sylvester Stallone’s action mash-up has earned over $45 million since it bowed last weekend. There is sure to be a big fall-off for the R-rated flick this weekend, but with more of the movie-going public interested in this than Eat Pray Love, it’s likely to win the weekend again. I would guess at least a 55 percent drop off, and since this film is likely to kill it overseas, an $82 million budget doesn’t seem like such a bad investment.

2. Eat Pray Love: $13 million

This Julia Roberts-starrer has earned $32 million since it opened on Friday, and I would expect it to drop at least 45 percent its second weekend in theaters. Its appeal is truly just women over 25, and I think with mixed reviews they may not be coming back all that fast for the film’s sophomore session.

3. Vampires Suck: $12 million

This Twilight parody bowed to $4 million on Wednesday, not bad for a little-publicized comedy. And considering there are so many Twilight haters out there, you would think this PG-13 rated flick from the guys behind Disaster Movie and Meet the Spartans could be the next blockbuster. In reality, the comedy will probably eke out a double-digit opening but it might not be much bigger than that. Though Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer scored an $18 million bow with Spartans in January 2008. They could surprise again.

4. Lottery Ticket: $11 million

Warner Bros. has really supported this Alcon Entertainment release starring Bow Wow as a hard-working high school grad who wins the $370 million lottery jackpot. With a supporting cast that includes Ice Cube and Loretta Devine, this middle-of-the-road comedy could connect with audiences and actually do some business.

5. Nanny McPhee Returns: $10 million

Overseas this little sequel is already a smashing success. Earning $62.6 million, this anti-Mary Poppins has clearly won over international audiences. How it does here may not even matter that much. The original bowed in January 2006 to $14 million. It’s unlikely the sequel will reach those heights, especially with so many families readying themselves for back-to-school. Still, the film should wind up with a worldwide gross of $100 million and that clearly doesn’t suck.

6. Piranha 3-D: $9 million

When was the last time there was an R-rated gross-out horror film in the marketplace? Perhaps Piranha 3-D’s successful publicity campaign that’s celebrating the film’s cheese factor will actually lure audiences. It’s still fascinating that Elizabeth Shue is starring in this 3-D flick. Let’s see what happens.

Interestingly, the new release with the biggest stars this weekend is likely to do the least amount of business. The Switch, starring Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman is unlikely to open to more than $6 million. Perhaps the incredibly unpleasant marketing campaign did the job, turning audiences away from two of Hollywood’s most likable stars. Yes, this isn’t a big release for Disney. It’s a Miramax production that’s receiving a perfunctory 1,700 screen release while the studio completes the sale of the once-powerful indie. But you would think that the mainstream premise and solid cast would turn up for more than $6 million.

Come back this weekend for a full report.

Originally posted August 19 2010 — 6:40 PM EDT

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