WINNER OF THE WEEK: Republicans. The Expendables 2, starring Hollywood conservative all-stars Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Chuck Norris, continued to reign at the box office for the second straight week. According to studio estimates, Stallone and his aging crew of not-quite-ready-for-shuffleboard heroes grabbed another $13.5 million, for a 10-day total of $52.3 million. It’s still got a ways to go to recoup its reported $100 million budget, but its modest decline this week (about 53 percent, not too bad for an action blockbuster) suggests that the movie will have the legs to cross that line.
Meanwhile, just in time for Mitt Romney’s coronation at the Republican National Convention next week, the anti-Obama documentary 2016 Obama’s America cracked the top 10 after seven weeks in theaters. Canny distributor Rocky Mountain moved the movie into 1,091 theaters this weekend (up 922 screens from a week ago), resulting in an estimated take of $6.2 million, good for eighth place and bragging rights as the top-grossing conservative documentary of all time.
LOSERS OF THE WEEK: Newcomers. None of this weekend’s three new wide releases made much of an impression. Premium Rush seemed poised to capitalize on Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s post-Dark Knight Rises popularity, but the bike-messenger thriller scored only an estimated $6.3 million, for a virtual tie with 2016. Still, it did better than the other two. Dax Shepard’s crime caper Hit and Run swiped only an estimated $4.7 million to debut in tenth place. Warner Bros. dumped The Apparition, a horror movie that has long haunted the dusty shelves of its finished-but-unreleased features, into just 810 theaters and barely promoted the film’s release. Despite the presence of Twilight vamp Ashley Greene, Apparition scared up just under $3 million, according to estimates, to debut at Number 12.
Showing more life were movies that have already been out a while. According to estimates, The Bourne Legacy held onto second place with $9.3 million; ParaNorman remained at third with $8.5 million; The Campaign dug in at fourth with $7.4 million, and Dark Knight actually rose one spot to fifth place on earnings of $7.2 million.
EARN WHILE YOU ‘SLEEP’: Comedian Mike Birbiglia’s autobiographical Sleepwalk With Me, which he co-wrote, co-directed, and co-stars in, opened on just one screen, at New York’s IFC Center, where it scored an astonishing $65,000. According to Variety, that’s an IFC Center record for earnings per screen for a debuting film that’s an American-made, non-cartoon film by a first-time director. That’s a lot of asterisks, but still, a record is a record.