The action throwback The Expendables brought together many action stars for the first time and opened to a robust $34.8 million in 2010. Sylvester Stallone [SSTAL] and friends are back in the sequel The Expendables 2 [XPND2], adding a couple more ‘80s stars in Jean-Claude Van Damme [JCVAN] and Chuck Norris. The roles of Arnold Schwarzenegger [ASCHW] and Bruce Willis [BWILL], glorified cameos in the first film, have also been beefed up. Once rumored for PG-13, the Lionsgate sequel retains the original’s R-rating to the relief of older male fans eager to see their heroes kick ass in bloody detail. With goodwill built up from the first film, The Expendables 2 should be able to bank $39 million from 3316 theaters.
The Bourne Legacy [BORN4] had a solid debut despite replacing its franchise star. The closing ceremony of the London Olympics hurt the Sunday box office, so those adults should return to check out the smart spy thriller. The Bourne Legacy should hold 50% at around $19 million.
The stop-motion animated ParaNorman [PNORM] is LAIKA’s follow-up to Coraline which opened to $16.8 million in 2009. Focus Features has curiously scheduled the PG-rated film about a boy who sees monsters in mid-August rather than closer to Halloween in October. Kids may be able to convince their parents to take them to one last film before school starts since reviews have been positive. Checking into 3429 theaters, ParaNorman may uncover $16 million.
American Idol winner Jordin Sparks [JSPAR] and the late Whitney Houston star in the remake Sparkle [SPRKL] about a fictional Motown female singing group. Sony is targeting the PG-13 rated film at women and primarily older African-Americans that turn out for Tyler Perry films. Playing in 2244 theaters, Sparkle could collect $13 million.
Disney hopes to attract families looking for wholesome entertainment with The Odd Life of Timothy Green [OLOTG]. Jennifer Garner [JEGAR] and Joel Edgerton [JEDGE] play parents of a boy who magically appear one day. The PG-rated film opened on Wednesday earning $2.3 million, but will face competition from ParaNorman. The Odd Life of Timothy Green could unearth $12 million over the weekend from 2598 locations.
The political comedy The Campaign [CMPGN] looks to fall 55% in its second primary and settle with $12 million.
That’s the whisper from the virtual trading floor.
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