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While The Expendables 2 was successfully fending off the new films hitting the marketplace as the weekend got underway, the anti-Barack Obama documentary 2016: Obama’s America was showing real muscle for a political documentary as it expanded to 1,091 theaters.
Early estimates suggested that Lionsgate’s release of the Expendables sequel, which claimed the top spot last weekend with a $28.6 million opening, will emerge the leader again this weekend. Preliminary estimates had the film full of aging action stars including Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger taking in about $4 million on Friday, which could contribute to a three-day take of about $13.5 million.
But as Republicans head to hurricane-threatened Tampa, Fla., for their convention, a lot of partisans also are dropping by the multiplex where 2016 — filmmakers Dinesh D’Souza and John Sullivan’s critical look at Obama — is doing outsize business for a politically themed doc. The film, which has grossed $2.8 million since opening in limited engagements in July, is making a big push this weekend as it moves into more than 1,000 locations. Early returns have the film, which Rocky Mountain Pictures is distributing, grossing an estimated $1.7 million for Friday and a potential $4.5 million over the weekend, which would earn it a spot in the top 10.
Of the weekend’s new arrivals, Premium Rush, starring Joseph-Gordon Levitt, is developing the most speed. The David Koepp-directed action pic about a New York City bike messenger, which Sony is sending out into 2,255 theaters, is clocking in at about the $2 million mark Friday, which should result in a weekend haul of $5.5 million to $6 million.
Open Road Films opened Hit and Run, the Dax Shepard chase movie that also stars Bradley Cooper and Kristen Bell, on Wednesday to trigger positive word-of-mouth. It bowed in the No. 8 spot for the day with $625,000 and took in another $568,000 on Thursday. On Friday, playing in 2,870 theaters, it appeared to be bumping up to more than $1.5 million, which will contribute to a three-day gross of about $5.5 million.
Todd Lincoln’s PG-13 horror tale The Apparition, a Dark Castle Entertainment production that Warners is releasing in 810 theaters, is probably going to end the day below the $1 million, which could lead to a weekend at about the $2 million mark.
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