By Jonathan Landrum Jr. | Associated Press
LOS ANGELES — Sylvester Stallone and Jason Statham weren’t enough to save “ Expend4bles ” from a debut box office flop. The fourth installment suffered the action-packed franchise’s worst opening weekend while “ The Nun 2 ” took home the top spot for a third straight week, data firm Comscore reported on Sunday.
The Lionsgate and Millennium’s film, also known as “Expendables 4,” pulled in a mediocre $8.3 million for the big-budget project. It starred several popular names, including Stallone, Statham, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Megan Fox and Dolph Lundgren. It’s been nearly a decade since the franchise released a film, which opened with $15.8 million and eventually grossed $214 million globally.
But times have certainly changed, as the film barely placed second behind “The Nun 2,” a horror movie that earned $8.4 million in its first week. It’s been a solid start for that Warner Bros.’ project — a spinoff from the lucrative “Conjuring” franchise. So far, the Michael Chaves-directed sequel has grossed more than $69 million.
“It’s a star-studded franchise, but horror is a different situation,” said Paul Dergarabedian, the senior media analyst for Comscore. “It just seems no matter what if you’re scared in the movie theater a couple times in an hour and a half or two, that’s worth the price of admission.”
In third, “ A Haunting in Venice ” earned $6.3 million. Kenneth Branagh’s third Agatha Christie adaptation, following 2017’s “Murder on the Orient Express” and 2022’s “Death on the Nile,” has drawn in over $25.3 million after two weeks.
“ The Equalizer 3,” starring Denzel Washington, only dropped to fourth place with $4.725 million. In four weeks, it has grossed $81.1 million domestically.
“ Barbie,” the biggest movie of 2023, is still carrying some momentum from the summer into the fall season. The Greta Gerwig box-office smash ranked in the top five, earning $3.2 million this week and a domestic total of more than $630 million after a 10-week period.
Sixth place went to “ My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3,” with $3 million, while “It Lives Inside” opened its first week with $2.6 million. The Sony film “ Dumb Money,” a dramatization of the GameStop stock frenzy, stayed put in the eighth position for the second week in a row with $2.5 million.
“Blue Beetle” fell to ninth, with $1.8 million, and “ Oppenheimer ” rounded out the top 10 with $1.6 million. The Christopher Nolan film has garnered $321 million domestically.
In all, it was another slow output for box office figures as many Hollywood projects are still on hold due to the ongoing Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, and Writers Guild of America strikes.
This weekend grossed the lowest since Dec. 9, 2022, Dergarabedian said. It was also the first time since the weekend of Feb. 10, 2023 to not have a movie earn over $10 million.
But Dergarabedian said a “spectacular October” could be on the way with the much-anticipated “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” concert film, “The Exorcist: Believer” and “Saw X.”
“Things are going to change next week or the weeks after when Taylor Swift hits the multiplex,” he said. “This is the natural ebbs and flow of the box office. That means one thing: We’ll be back to normal.”
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.
- “The Nun II,” $8.4 million.
- “Expend4bles,” $8.3 million.
- “A Haunting in Venice,” $6.3 million.
- “The Equalizer 3,” $4.7 million.
- “Barbie,” $3.2 million.
- “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3,” $3 million.
- “It Lives Inside,” 2.6 million.
- “Dumb Money,” $2.5 million.
- “Blue Beetle,” $1.8 million.
- “Oppenheimer,” $1.6 million.
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