Lionsgate's The Expendables exceeded expectations for a second straight weekend to remain at the top of the weekend box office. The ensemble action film directed by Sylvester Stallone grossed $16.97 million, which was down 51 percent from last weekend's stronger than expected start. While that represented a sizable second weekend decline, it was at the same time very reasonable for a late-summer action film. The Expendables has now grossed $65.36 million in ten days of release. That places The Expendables just 10 percent behind the pace of last August's District 9. At this rate The Expendables has a very solid chance of clearing the $100 million mark before the end of its run.
After The Expendables, positions two through nine were separated by only $4.36 million this weekend, with the weekend's highest and lowest grossing wide releases being separated by only $3.80 million. As a whole, audiences clearly weren't very impressed with this weekend's five new choices.
Fox's Vampires Suck registered the weekend's largest debut, but the spoof also opened slightly below expectations in the process with a second place weekend take of $12.20 million. After a very solid start on Wednesday, Vampires Suck lost major momentum on Thursday and was unable to fully recover over the weekend. While it didn't open as strong as previous Fox spoofs from the team of Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, Vampires Suck was still able to gross a so-so $18.57 million in its first five days.
Sony's Eat Pray Love fell one spot to finish in third with $12.11 million. After a very nice midweek performance, the Julia Roberts vehicle didn't hold up nearly as well over the weekend as it experienced a 48 percent decline. Eat Pray Love has grossed $47.21 million through ten days of release, placing it 9 percent ahead of the pace of last year's Julie & Julia. However, Eat Pray Love was unable to match the 40 percent second weekend decline of Julie & Julia.
The weekend's most impressive debut was arguably that of Warner's Lottery Ticket. The PG-13 comedy starring Bow Wow opened towards the higher end of expectations with $10.65 million. That easily gave Lottery Ticket the weekend's highest per-location average among the new wide releases with a mark of $5,399. With Sony's Takers entering the marketplace next weekend, it was especially important for Lottery Ticket to get off to a good start this weekend.
Piranha 3D opened a bit softer than Lottery Ticket with $10.11 million. That was good enough for sixth place this weekend and was on the very low end of expectations. As was the case with Cats & Dogs 2 and Step Up 3D earlier in the month, 3D alone wasn't enough to get moviegoers excited about Piranha 3D. On the positive side of things Piranha 3D held up quite well for its genre with a three-day weekend to Friday ratio of 2.81 to 1, which could be a positive sign for the film going forward. An extremely high 95 percent of the film's grosses came from its 3D engagements.
Miramax's The Switch debuted in seventh place. The romantic comedy starring Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman opened on the high end of expectations with $8.44 million. The Switch opened 5 percent stronger than the $8.06 million start of last September's Love Happens, which also starred Aniston.
Universal's Nanny McPhee Returns delivered the weekend's smallest debut with an eighth place start of $8.41 million. Domestically Nanny McPhee Returns was unable to duplicate the success it had already achieved earlier in the year internationally with its foreign take of $62.9 million. That gives the sequel a current worldwide gross of $71.3 million.
In falling 31 percent from last weekend, Inception experienced the weekend's best hold among wide releases. Warner's sci-fi blockbuster grossed $7.84 million this weekend, bringing its 38-day domestic total to $262.03 million. Inception grossed $21.3 million internationally this weekend and now boasts an international total of $357.5 million and a worldwide total of $619.5 million. With the end of the summer box office season nearly upon us, expect Inception to hold up very well each of the next two weeks.