Lionsgate's 1980s-style action romp "The Expendables" made a No. 1 debut with $35 million, according to studio estimates on Sunday. Sony’s big-screen adaptation of a bestselling memoir of a woman's international search for herself delivered a crowd-pleaser for women, but the male audience was lured into the macho "Expendables."
The film starring Sylvester Stallone pushed down Julia Robert’s "Eat Pray Love," which opened at No. 2 with $23.7 million.
The opening marked a boost not only for Stallone, who directed and co-wrote the project as well, but also for Lionsgate, whose Lions Gate Entertainment Corp parent is fending off a hostile takeover from investor Carl Icahn.
The previous weekend's top movie, Sony's cop comedy "The Other Guys," slipped to third place with $18 million. This raised its 10-day total to $70.5 million.
Warner Bros. blockbuster "Inception" was fourth with $11.4 million, lifting its total to $248.6 million.
Opening in fifth place with $10.5 million was Universal's graphic-novel adaptation "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World." The film stars Michael Cera, who plays a slacker caught up in duels to the death with his new girlfriend's seven evil ex-boyfriends.
"The Expendables" features action stars Jet Li and Jason Statham, along with cameos from Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger. It is a tale of mercenaries aiming to overthrow a dictator. Also in the cast is Mickey Rourke, Dolph Lundgren and Roberts' brother, Eric Roberts, as well as wrestler Steve Austin, ultimate fighter Randy Couture and former NFL player Terry Crews.