By Scott Bowles, USA TODAY
Give it to the geezers.
The AARP-eligible stars of The Expendables 2 coasted to the No. 1 slot at theaters this weekend.
The sequel did $28.8 million, according to studio estimates from box-office trackers Hollywood.com.
While that doesn't match the first film's debut of $34.8 million in 2010, it marks a solid start on a crowded weekend.
Still, analysts expected the sequel to open larger than the original.
"Despite being generally well-received for the Big Dumb Action Movie genre, it's surprising to see the sequel give back a few million," says Tim Briody of Boxofficeprophets.com.
Indeed, two-thirds of critics gave the movie a thumbs-up, while 85% of moviegoers said they liked it, according to survey site Rottentomatoes.com. The film also scored an A-minus with pollsters CinemaScore, a good sign for the movie's long-term prospects.
The Bourne Legacy dropped to second place with $17 million. The reboot of the Bourne franchise has done $69.6 million in 10 days.
The stop-motion cartoon ParaNorman took third with $14 million. ParaNorman was the best-reviewed film among the weekend's newcomers, scoring 87% with critics, while 80% of parents and kids gave it kudos.
The Will Ferrell political comedy The Campaign was fourth with $13.4 million.
Sparkle, the first film starring American Idol winner Jordin Sparks and co-starring the late Whitney Houston, managed a respectable debut, taking in $12 million and fifth place.
While only 56% of critics recommended the movie, Rottentomatoes.com says that 77% of moviegoers enjoyed it.
The final major newcomer, Jennifer Garner's family film The Odd Life of Timothy Green, met most of its modest expectations with $10.9 million, good for seventh place. Just 38% of critics liked it, though 75% of moviegoers did.
Final figures are out Monday.