‘Expendables 4’ Targets Franchise-Low $15 Million Debut

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“Expend4bles,” the fourth action-thriller starring Jason Statham and Sylvester Stallone as elite mercenaries on a mission, is expected to top the box office in its debut.

It’s aiming for $15 million in its opening weekend, which would be the lowest of the franchise. There’s a chance, though, it could slightly exceed expectations with $17 million. The first “Expendables” opened in 2010 with $34.8 million, the 2012 sequel arrived to $28.5 million and 2014’s threequel landed with $15.8 million. Though the series has drastically declined in popularity at the domestic box office (the original ended up with $103 million in North America while the most recent tapped out with a paltry $39 million), these films have been much bigger draws with international audiences. All three installments have earned at least $200 million globally.

“Expend4bles” already debuted in China with $10.9 million, leading the top five over newcomer “A Haunting in Venice” and local-language titles. It has yet to premiere elsewhere at the international box office.

Lionsgate and Millennium Media spent roughly $100 million to produce the fourth “Expendables.” Scott Waugh, a newcomer to the franchise, directed the film, which sees the teflon Expendables on a mission to stop a terrorist group that threatens to ignite a conflict between Russia and the United States. Dolph Lundgren and Randy Couture are also reprising their roles, while Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and Megan Fox are joining the cast.

Elsewhere, it’ll be another dreary weekend at the box office as holdovers — including Kenneth Branagh’s “A Haunting in Venice,” “The Nun II” and “Barbie” continue to round out domestic charts. For theater owners, Taylor Swift’s “Eras Tour” concert film can’t come soon enough.

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