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Box office preview: 'The Expendables' likely to dominate over 'Eat Pray Love'

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jason-statham-expendablesImage Credit: Karen BallardIt’s the battle of the sexes this weekend, and the outcome is not likely to inspire any feminists, as Sylvester Stallone’s action hero mash-up The Expendables is set to rule over Julia Roberts’ year-long trek in Eat Pray Love. As for Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, it seems the young males this movie is targeting are far more interested in watching Sly mix it up with Jet Li, Mickey Rourke, Jason Statham (pictured) et al. than seeing Michael Cera battle Ramona Flowers’ seven evil exes. Read on for my predictions.

1. The Expendables: $30 million

Sylvester Stallone really has done it. He’s assembled the biggest action stars of the past two decades, including California’s governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, into one giant action film. And despite middling reviews, the men are destined to attend. And not just men over 25 reminiscing on the heyday of Arnold, Bruce Willis, and Stallone. Young men are interested, too, and as such are likely to push the R-rated film into the top spot for the weekend.

2. Eat Pray Love: $20 million

She gets to eat in Italy, pray in India, and love in Bali, and for many women, it’s the year of a lifetime. But this chick flick, based on the chick lit by Elizabeth Gilbert is just that, for chicks. Most men are likely to choose housework over seeing this in the theater, and even the younger chicks aren’t so interested in one woman’s indulgent personal quest. Plus, those same young women have no real affinity for Julia Roberts, which means that at the end of the day, Eat Pray Love appeals to one set of moviegoers, women over 25. As such, it’s unlikely to gross more than $20 million.

3. The Other Guys: $18 million

I’d be looking at a 50 percent fall-off for this Will Ferrell comedy. His movies usually drop in the 45-50 percent range, and The Other Guys is unlikely to perform much differently. Still, with mid-weeks putting the film at close to $50 million, this is another Ferrell comedy destined to cross the $100 million mark.

4. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: $13 million

Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) has made a uniquely original movie here set in the world of video games. With Michael Cera starring and a quirky cast of supporting actors, this film should open strong. But it seems Universal Pictures has gotten cold feet, and rather than just appealing to its core audience, teenagers, it’s made its marketing campaign broad and kinda boring. As such, the audience isn’t there. Which is a shame. Perhaps they’ll come with good word of mouth, but if not, Scott Pilgrim could prove to be a costly mistake for the studio.

5.  Inception: $11 million

Its box office gross has now reached $235 million and should be close to $250 million by the end of the weekend. That’s an impressive milestone, one that hopefully the movie studios will take a very close look at when green lighting future projects.