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‘Expendables 3’ Shoots Blanks in Box Office Debut

Sly Stallone’s over-the-hill gang will open to less than half of original’s haul. ”Ninja Turtles“ holding off “Guardians

“The Expendables 3” shot blanks in a $5.8 million first day at the box office Friday, and Sly Stallone’s aging tough guys are going to come in with a disappointing $15 million for the weekend.

They were running third, behind “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” which was on its way to a $26 million repeat win after a nearly $8 million Friday and “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Fox’s R-rated comedy “Let’s Be Cops,” which took in $5.6 million Friday, was just behind and is looking at three-day total of around $17 million.

Disney and Marvel’s space romp “Guardians” brought in nearly $7 million Friday and is heading for about $23 million over the weekend. It passed the $200 million dollar mark in the process, and is on its way to becoming the summer’s highest-grossing film domestically.

Also read: ‘Guardians of Galaxy’ Tops $200 Million at Box Office in 15 Days

The weekend’s third wide opener, the Weinstein Company’s “The Giver,” brought in $4.7 million and is looking at $13 million for the weekend, a little under expectations. Meryl Streep and Jeff Bridges star, along with young Brenton Thwaites and Odeya Rush, in an adaptation of Lois Lowry’s 1993 young adult novel. It was co-produced by TWC and Walden Media with budget in the mid-$20 million range.

With the exception of “Guardians,” just about all of the leaders and openers came in under expectations. “Ninja Turtles” dropped a steep 69 percent despite adding 135 locations for a market-high 3,980 theaters, and it looks like the recent rebound of the overall box office will stall. The weekend is running a few percentage points behind last year’s comparable frame, when “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” was the top film with $24.6 million.

When it comes to the disappointing “Expendables 3” opening, it’s hard to tell where the effects of a pirated copy leaked on line two weeks ago ends, and franchise fatigue begins. In any case, its first weekend will be way under the first two “Expendables” movies, which opened to $34.8 million in 2010 and $28.6 million in 2012. The first two were rated R, while this one is PG-13.

Also read: How Much ‘Expendables 3’ Box-Office Booty Will Pirates Take?

Even with the online leak, analysts has projected more than $20 million for the opening of “Expendables 3,” which added Harrison Ford, Wesley Snipes, Antonio Banderas and Mel Gibson to its lineup of bad-ass geezers that already included Arnold Schwarzengger, Jet Li and Jason Statham.

The weak domestic debut for the $190 million action sequel from Lionsgate and Avi Lerner’s Millennium Entertainment and Nu Image should be offset to a degree by overseas grosses. The franchise has been a powerhouse abroad, and this one should bring in around $200 million from overseas.

“Let’s Be Cops,” with Jake Johnson, Damon Wayans Jr. and Nina Dobrev, opened Wednesday and has a shot at hitting $25 million for the five days. It’s directed by Luke Greenfield, who co-wrote with Nicholas Thomas. Its budget was under $20 million, so it will be a win for Fox.

Also read: ‘Ninja Turtles’ Makes Box Office Analysts Look Bad – and That’s Good (Video)

Two movies in their second week, “Into the Storm” and “The Hundred-Foot Journey,” were sixth and seventh and will wind up with around $7 million for the three days. That will put Warner Bros.’ disaster thriller at $30 million and DreamWorks’ Helen Mirren foodie tale $23 million.

The Scarlett Johansson sci-fi tale “Lucy,” the dance film “Step Up All In” and “Boyhood” rounded out the top ten. “Lucy” is up to $107 million in its fourth week for Universal.