Warner Bros.’ “The Nun II” topped the domestic box office for the third straight weekend as Lionsgate’s “Expendables” franchise plummeted to an all-time low.
“The Nun II” scared up $8.4 million in its third outing for a North American cumulative of $69.2 million, while “Expend4bles” launched at $8.3 million in the United States and Canada, according to estimates from measurement firm Comscore.
The action saga starring Jason Statham and Sylvester Stallone has followed the movie industry’s law of diminishing returns for sequels. Its predecessors — “The Expendables” (2010), “The Expendables 2” (2013) and “The Expendables 3” (2014) — debuted at $34.8 million, $28.6 million and $15.9 million, respectively, per Box Office Mojo.
The latest installment in the series fell short of already-modest projections, which ranged from about $15 million to $17 million domestically.
Rounding out the top five at the domestic box office this weekend were Disney and 20th Century Studios’ “A Haunting in Venice,” which grossed $6.3 million in its sophomore outing for a North American haul of $25.4 million; Sony Pictures’ “The Equalizer 3,” which made $4.7 million in its fourth run for a North American cumulative of $81.3 million; and Warner Bros.’ “Barbie,” which collected $3.2 million in its 10th weekend for a North American total of $630.5 million.
It’s worth noting that Greta Gerwig’s feminist blockbuster is still among the top five performers at the box office more than a week after the movie went to streaming.
Directed by Scott Waugh, “Expend4bles” sees Statham’s Christmas and Stallone’s Barney recruit a fresh team of mercenaries for a dangerous new mission. Among the returning cast members are Dolph Lundgren and Randy Couture, while franchise newcomers include Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Megan Fox, Tony Jaa, Iko Uwais, Jacob Scipio, Levy Tran and Andy Garcia.
The film received a dreadful 16% rotten rating on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes and a B-minus grade from audiences polled by CinemaScore. Adding insult to injury, film critic Katie Walsh called the title “the opposite of a must-see.”
“As Christmas chortles atop an all-terrain vehicle while wielding a .50 caliber weapon, it looks like the whole thing could have been shot with rear projection, the green-screen work is so shoddy,” Walsh writes in her review for Tribune News Service.
“The moment is so incredibly bad and unbelievably wacky that one simply has to laugh in disbelief. But that’s far preferable to the rest of the film, which is mind-numbingly dull.”
Opening in wide release next week are Sony Pictures’ “Dumb Money,” Disney and 20th Century Studios’ “The Creator,” Outsider Pictures’ “Saturday Night Inside Out” and Shout! Studios’ “The Kill Room,” as well as Lionsgate’s “Saw X” and Paramount Pictures’ “PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie” — a.k.a. “Saw Patrol,” the internet’s unofficial follow-up to “Barbenheimer.”
Source: LA Times