Sylvester Stallone in 'The Expendables'
Sylvester Stallone's band of mercenaries blasted their way to box office victory with 'The Expendables,' which earned the veteran action star his biggest opening weekend since, well, ever. It was an especially impressive feat given that 'Expendables' faced competition from two much-hyped competitors, Julia Roberts' 'Eat Pray Love' and Michael Cera's 'Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.'

'Expendables' surpassed even the most optimistic projections with a take of just over $35 million, according to studio estimates. The only comparable opening weekend for Stallone in recent years was the $33.4 million debut in 2003 for 'Spy Kids 3D: Game Over,' in which he played a supporting role. 'Expendables,' which opened on the most screens this weekend (3,270 locations), also enjoyed the weekend's biggest per-screen average ($10,713). Despite dismissive reviews, positive word-of-mouth suggests that the movie delivered the kind of macho, old-school action fun (if nothing more) that its marketing had promised. And with 'Eat Pray Love' its strongest competitor, 'Expendables' was clearly the go-to choice for guys this weekend.