Final Box Office: 'Expendables 3' Ends Up at $15.9 Million

The threequel, hurt by piracy, unsuccessfully tried to woo younger moviegoers with a more friendly PG-13 rating

Final North American box-office numbers show The Expendables 3 taking in $15.9 million, less than Sunday's already dismal estimate of $16.2 million.

Expendables 3 didn't change position on the top 10 chart, where it placed No. 4 after holdovers Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Guardians of the Galaxy and new R-rated comedy Let's Be Cops.

The Weinstein Co. and Walden's YA film adaptation The Giver, starring Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep and Brenton Thwaites, also came in lower than expected, opening to $12.3 million, versus $12.8 million estimated. It stayed at No. 5.

From Lionsgate and Millennium Films, Expendables 3 was no doubt hurt by piracy. A pristine copy of the action movie leaked on the Internet prior to the film's release was viewed more than 5 million times, prompting Lionsgate to file a lawsuit.

The threequel's domestic opening came in $10 million behind expectations and marked a franchise worst. The first Expendables debuted to $34.8 million domestically in August 2010, followed by $28.6 million for the sequel in August 2012. Both of those films were rated R, while the threequel is rated PG-13, meaning it should have seen a boost from its more family-friendly rating.

However, it played older than the previous two films, with 66 percent of the audience over the age of 25, compared with 60 percent for the first film and 65 percent for the second. Some box-office observers say piracy could certainly have impacted the demo breakdown.

The Expendables franchise is the brainchild of Sylvester Stallone and Avi Lerner, whose Nu Image/Millennium partnered with Lionsgate on the series. The films have generally cost in the $90 million range to produce and have done especially big business overseas. Expendables 2 took in $220.4 million internationally, compared to $85 million in North America.

Expendables 3 hopes to make up ground overseas but is off to a sluggish start, including opening to $3.8 million in Russia, compared to $8 million for Expendables 2. All told, it launched in 22 markets over the weekend, grossing $15 million. Piracy is hurting the movie internationally as well.

This time out, Barney (Stallone), Christmas (Jason Statham) and other team members battle villain Conrad Stonebanks (Mel Gibson). The multi-generational cast includes Harrison Ford, Kellan Lutz, Ronda Rousey, Randy Couture, Antonio Banderas, Jet Li, Wesley Snipes, Dolph Lundgren, Kelsey Grammer, Terry Crews, Glen Powell, Victor Ortiz and Robert Davi.

At the specialty box office, Sunday estimates showed Richard Linklater's indie hit Boyhood placing No. 10 with $2.2 million. However, the movie lost that spot to Hercules when final numbers came in, with Boyhood's number lowering to $2 million, putting it at No. 11.

Here are the final top 10 films for the weekend of Aug. 15-17 at the domestic box office:

Title, Weeks in Release/Theater Count, Studio, Weekend Total, Percentage Change, Cume

1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, 2/3,980, Paramount, $28.5 million, -57%, $117.8 million

2. Guardians of the Galaxy, 3/3,697, Disney/Marvel, $25.1 million, -40%, $222.7 million

3. Let's Be Cops, 1/3,094, 20th Century Fox, $17.8 million, $26.2 million

4. The Expendables 3, 1/3,221, Lionsgate/Millennium, $15.9 million

5. The Giver, 1/3,003, The Weinstein Co./Walden, $12.3 million

6. Into the Storm, 2/3,434, Warner Bros./New Line, $7.9 million, -55%, $31.5 million

7. The Hundred-Foot Journey, 2/2,042, Disney/DreamWorks, $7.2 million, -35%, $23.7 million

8. Lucy, 4/2,520, Universal/EuropaCorp, $5.5 million, -42%, $107.7 million

9. Step Up All In, 2/2,072, Lionsgate/Summit, $2.7 million, -58%, $11.8 million

10. Hercules, 4/1,475, Paramount/MGM, $2.1 million, -63%, $68.2 million

Twitter: @PamelaDayM

comments powered by Disqus