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Julia Roberts-Javier Bardem’s EAT PRAY LOVE in Second: Box Office

Julia Roberts, Eat Pray Love, Ryan Murphy
Julia Roberts in Ryan Murphy’s Eat Pray Love

Sylvester Stallone’s THE EXPENDABLES Opens with $35m. A Hit?: Box Office

At no. 2, the Julia Roberts-Javier Bardem romance Eat Pray Love, which received about as many negative reviews as Sylvester Stallone’s The Expendables, brought in $23.7 million at 3,082 venues, for a good but hardly exceptional $7,690 per-theater average according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo.

Much like The Expendables, Eat Pray Love opened at the lower end of expectations, following an estimated 4.1 percent drop on Saturday and another 13.5 percent drop on Sunday. (For comparison’s sake: The Expendables tumbled 11 percent on Saturday and 17 percent on Sunday.)

Generally speaking, movies that don’t go up on their first Saturday tend to have briefer runs than those that do, as that’s a sign the buzz isn’t all that strong. (There are exceptions, of course, e.g., Despicable Me.)

The longevity of the Ryan Murphy-directed, $60m production set in Italy, India, and Indonesia will become clearer next weekend, when Eat Pray Love’s drop-off rate is announced.

The no. 3 movie this weekend was last weekend’s no. 1, the Adam McKay-directed Mark Wahlberg-Will Ferrell action-comedy The Other Guys, which drew $18 million — down 49 percent (not great; not terrible) from a week ago. Total after ten days: $70.54m. Cost: $100m.

There’s no chance The Other Guys will be able to recover its production costs at the U.S. and Canada box office (after exhibitors take their 45%-50 percent cut).

Another 50 percent or so drop next weekend, and the Wahlberg-Ferrell flick will be collecting less than $10m.

But there’s always the foreign market and ancillary venues.

Photo: Eat Pray Love (François Duhamel / Columbia Pictures)

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