Pirates take a chunk out of The Expendables 3

18 August, 2014 by Don Groves

After a print of The Expendables 3 was stolen in late July and leaked on-line, the title was downloaded about five million times before the film opened in the US, Australia and more than 30 other markets last week.

Piracy experts estimate the movie, which cost at least $US90 million, was viewed illegally about 500,000 times in the US and Canada.

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Just how often the actioner starring Sylvester Stallone, Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford, Arnold Schwarzenegger and other senior citizens, directed by Aussie Patrick Hughes, was shared in Australia is a moot point.

But there seems little doubt that piracy hurt its opening weekend take of nearly $1.8 million. That’s way down on the first edition, which grabbed $3.1 million in its first weekend in 2010, and The Expendables 2, which bowed with $2.96 million in 2012.

The PG13 rating may have deterred some folks; another factor may have been audience boredom/fatigue with the franchise. The US opening was an underwhelming $US15.8 million.

The elderly action stars were beaten by Lasse Hallström’s The Hundred-Foot Journey. The romantic drama about a family of new Indian immigrants in France who open a restaurant across the road from a Michelin one-star, starring Om Puri, Manish Dayal, Charlotte Le Bon and Helen Mirren, cooked up $2.1 million, which lifts the total including the prior weekend’s previews to $3 million.

Nationwide takings dropped by 10% to $13 million according to Rentrak's estimates. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy easily retained top spot, whistling up $4.2 million in its second outing (off 35%), propelling its takings to $15.1 million.

Singham Returns, a Bollywood action film about an an honest but ferocious cop who returns as the Deputy Commissioner of Police aiming to wipe out injustice, rang up a solid $148,000 on 19 screens.

Anjaan, a Tamil actioner set in the Mumbai underworld, muscled in with a robust $107,000 at nine cinemas.

The dud of the weekend was Postman Pat: The Movie, a British animated film which sees the country postman compete in a national TV talent show, featuring the voices of Stephen Mangan, Rupert Grint, Jim Broadbent and David Tennant. Audiences of all ages weren’t interested, judging by the $98,000 bow on 142 screens.

Some critics raved about Palo Alto, Gia Coppola’s teen drama starring Emma Roberts, James Franco, Jack Kilmer and Zoe Levin, but that wasn’t reflected in the $14,000 debut on nine screens, and $55,000 with previews.

In the US, The Giver, Phillip Noyce’s adaptation of the Lois Lowry novel, opened with a modest $12.3 million. Roadshow launches the film starring Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, Brenton Thwaites, Katie Holmes and Taylor Swift on September 11.

After taking a disappointing $477,000 in Oz and $US1.1 million in the US, David Michôd's thriller The Rover launched meekly in the UK with an estimated $122,000 on 56 screens.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE Aug 13-17

 

 

Title

 

Week/ Screens

 

Box Office

 

% +-

 

Total

 

1

Guardians of the Galaxy

2/586

$4,275,950

-35

$15,140,162

2

The Hundred-Foot Journey

1/329

2,110,936

NA

3,033,046

3

The Expendables 3

1/303

1,789,899

NA

1,789,899

4

                  Lucy

3/270

1,718,505

-33

11,304,533

5

Hercules

4/213

349,111

-49

7,779,035

6

Begin Again

2/69

294,460

+65

570,846

7

Sex Tape

5/113

253,006

-43

7,109,904

8

Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie

4/201

244,758

-45

4,582,217

9

And So It Goes

2/191

237,528

-49

1,002,846

10

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

6/99

202,113

-54

18,051,291

Source: Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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