‘Expendables 2’ opens strong with $10.5 mil

New franchise installment expected to win weekend with around $30 mil

Lionsgate’s “Expendables” is shaping up to be an indispensable franchise, as second installment “The Expendables 2” earned $10.5 million at Friday’s domestic B.O.

The opening day is only a touch behind its predecessor, which earned $13.3 million this time in 2010 and went on to a $34.8 million weekend. Insiders are expecting a three-day haul just shy of $30 million for “Expendables 2.”

A relatively soft weekend at the domestic B.O., “Expendables 2’s” gross will be enough to bump last weekend’s winner “The Bourne Legacy,” which itself bumped three-time champ “The Dark Knight Rises.” All the same, “TDKR” is still rising in the int’l B.O. where neither “Bourne” nor Sony’s “Total Recall” were able to shake it from first. Stateside, “Bourne” is in second with $5.3 million and a $69.4 million cume while “TDKR” is in seventh with $3.1 million and a $401.9 million cume.

Sony TriStar’s “Sparkle” launched to a solid start with $4.6 million Friday. The musical drama features the late Whitney Houston in her final acting role, keeping aud interest high outside its core African American demo, and cost only $14 million to produce.

Barely behind, Focus Features’ “ParaNorman” grossed about $4.5 million, while the frame’s final newcomer and another family-targeted entry, Disney’s “The Odd Life of Timothy Green” earned $3.4 million. “Timothy Green” launched Wednesday to $2.3 million and has collected $7.7 million thus far.

Across the board, everything from “Bourne” to “TDKR” is looking at a three-day haul in the low- or the mid-teens this frame.

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