A crush of new films -- led by The Expendables 2 -- opened on the softer side as the dog days of August gripped the North American box office.
One exception was Disney's whimsical drama The Odd Life of Timothy Green, which met its mark in posting a five-day debut of $15.2 million on the strength of younger and older females (the movie opened on Wednesday).
Expendables 2, from Lionsgate and Millennium Films, easily topped the box office with $28.8 million, but came in $6 million behind The Expendables, which debuted to $34.8 million on the same weekend in 2010.
The sequel has even more star power, having added Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Liam Hemsworth to its lineup. And while Arnold Schwarzenegger made a cameo in the first film, he's featured far more this time around.
The rest of the cast includes Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Bruce Willis, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture and Terry Crews.
Financially, Lionsgate is on solid ground, having acquired North American and U.K. rights to Expendables 2 for $35 million.
Lionsgate executive vice president of distribution David Spitz says there are several reasons why Expendables 2 will have long legs. One is the film's A- CinemaScore, portending good worth of mouth (the first film received a B+).
The sequel also played older than the 2010 title, with 65 percent of the audience over the age of 25, versus 60 percent for Expendables.
"We think we'll have a great run," Spitz said. "Older audiences don't rush out to the cinema on opening weekend."
Bourne Legacy came in No. 2 in its second weekend, grossing $17 million for a domestic total of $69.6 million. Overseas, the pic grossed $18.2 million from 18 territories for an early international total of $28.1 and worldwide cume of $97.7 million.
Among the weekend's other new films, Focus Features' family entry ParaNorman came in No. 3, grossing $14 million. The 3D stop-motion pic, earning a B+ CinemaScore, was produced by Laika, the creative force behind Coraline.
ParaNorman came in on the low end of expectations and behind Coraline's $16.8 million debut in February 2009. One milestone -- the movie is playing in 3,429 locations, the widest bow ever for Focus.
The tale of boy who must stop the destruction of his hometown by a witch's spell, ParaNorman is voiced by Casey Affleck, Tempestt Bledsoe, Jeff Garlin, John Goodman, Anna Kendrick and Leslie Mann.
Warner Bros.' raunchy political comedy The Campaign, starring Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis, placed No. 4, grossing $13.4 million in its second weekend for a domestic total of $51.7 million.
TriStar's musical drama Sparkle -- Whitney Houston's final movie -- came in No. 5 in its debut, grossing $12 million (also the low end of expectations). The film received a glowing A CinemaScore and cost a modest $14 million to produce.
The remake of the 1976 film stars American Idol winner Jordin Sparks, Derek Luke, Mike Epps, Cee Lo Green, Cameron Ejogo and Tika Sumpter and is about three sisters who form a singing group in Detroit during the Motown era. Houston plays their mother.
Timothy Green, starring Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton as a childless couple who dream up a 10-year-old boy, received an A- CinemaScore. Directed by Peter Hedges, the movie cost $25 million to produce.
Disney also made box office headlines as Brave jumped the $400 million mark at the worldwide box office, the 11th Pixar title to reach the milestone.