The Expendables 3

The Expendables 3″ flexed its muscles to the tune of $875,000 at the box office Thursday.

Those numbers are in the range of late night preview show results for past films in the series. The first “Expendables” did $870,000 from its late night screenings, while the second one racked up $685,000, although those only consisted of midnight shows whereas “Expendables 3″ began showing at 7 p.m.

“Expendables 3″ bowed Thursday in over 2200 locations and will expand Friday to 3,221 theaters.

The aging action heroes adventure pic faces stiff competition from “Let’s Be Cops,” the raunchy R-rated comedy that’s been performing strongly since debuting on Wednesday. “Let’s Be Cops” has so far put up $8.4 million through Thursday.

It must also contend with another fresh wide release, “The Giver,” The Weinstein Company’s $25 million adaptation of Lois Lowry’s young adult novel. The picture did robust business on Thursday, picking up $750,000 in preview screenings.

“The Expendables 3″ brings back Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham and Arnold Schwarzenegger, but adds new AARP members in the grizzled form of Harrison Ford and Mel Gibson. Bruce Willis sits this one after reportedly demanding to be paid too much for his art. The film should pull in between $23 million to $25 million, less than the second film’s $28.6 million opening haul and far short of the first’s $34.8 million debut.

“The Giver” is expected to debut to roughly $15 million in 3,003 locations, while “Lets Be Cops” should score $20 million in 3,093 venues.

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