You could call it a comeback, except judging by the returns of his last two flicks, Sylvester Stallone recent success shouldn't be that much of a surprise. "Rocky Balboa" made $70 million four yeas ago and "Rambo" opened to a solid $18 million two years ago. Now, however, Stallone is looking at his biggest opening weekend in a long and illustrious career.
"The Expendables" may not have received critical kudos, but audiences showed up in droves Friday fueling a $13.3 million debut for what could be a stellar $33-36 million weekend. That's hands down Stallone's biggest debut ever, unless you want to count his supporting role in Robert Rodriguez's hit family flick "Spy Kids 3D: Game Over." Whether audiences will continue to flock to "Expendables" once of word of mouth hits though, remains to be seen.
In second place was Julia Roberts' "Eat Pray Love." The escapist romance had a strong $8.5 million opening for what could be a $25-28 million 3-day. Outside of the ensemble "Ocean's" flicks and "Valentine's Day," that's Roberts' best debut since "America's Sweethearts" $30 million opening in 2003. It also surpasses Sony's "Julie & Julia" which also was a female driven romantic comedy centered around food that opened in August. That Meryl Streep and Amy Adams picture opened to only $20 million, but ended up with $94 million overall. If "Love" can come anywhere near that final result, Sony will be thrilled.
"The Other Guys" feel to third with another $5.6 million and a new 8-day total of $58.1 million. The Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg comedy should be close to $70 million by the time the weekend is out.
Extremely disappointing in fourth was Edgar Wright's critically acclaimed "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World." The adaptation of the Bryan O'Malley graphic novel series found only $4.6 million. It's looking at an $11-13 million three-day unless some major word of mouth kicks in.
"Inception" rounded out Friday's top five with another $3.2 million and a stellar new overall take of $240.3 million domestic.
Look for final weekend box office estimates tomorrow on HitFix.