Jason Statham, Sylvester Stallone, The Expendables

Karen Ballard/Lionsgate

Sylvester Stallone is back. Julia Roberts is getting there.

Stallone's The Expendables blew away the weekend box office with an estimated $35 million, while Roberts' second-place Eat Pray Love ($23.7 million) scored the actress' best debut in nearly 10 years.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, meanwhile, the supposedly epic Michael Cera geek comedy, bowed with an unpromising $10.5 million, made a discouraging $3,735 per screen, and further proved that Comic Con buzz doesn't always sound like much outside of San Diego.

Drilling down into the numbers:

At age 64, Exhibitor Relations pointed out, Stallone has the biggest opener of his  career. The Rocky/Rambo legend wrote, directed and shot up bad guys in The Expendables.

The Expendables showed the big-screen The A-Team how it's done. Stallone's throwback action flick, featuring fellow old-schoolers Dolph Lundgren, Eric Roberts and Mickey Rourke, opened $10 million bigger than the earlier retro-vibing action flick—and cost tens of millions less.   

No, Eat Pray Love didn't have the firepower of The Expendables, but for a $60 million movie about the spiritual power of pasta, it was its own kind of strong, opening in the neighborhood of Julie & Julia, last year's $40 million movie about the connective powers of beef bourguignon.

  Eat Pray Love is the biggest opener for a Julia Roberts Movie (aka, not the Ocean's Eleven franchise) since 2001's America's Sweethearts

At least the people who saw Scott Pilgrim liked it. Its opening-weekend audience graded the movie an A-minus.  

And the hits keep coming for Toy Story 3 ($2.2 million), which slipped from the Top 10 after an eight-weekend run, but became only the 11th movie in Hollywood history to top $400 million domestically.

• Angelina Jolie's Salt ($6.4 million) is hanging in there—it just broke $100 million domestically. 

Here's a complete look at the weekend's top-grossing films, per Friday-Sunday estimates compiled by Box Office Mojo:

  1. The Expendables, $35 million
  2. Eat Pray Love, $23.7 million
  3. The Other Guys, $18 million
  4. Inception, $11.4 million
  5. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, $10.5 million
  6. Despicable Me, $6.8 million
  7. Step Up 3D, $6.6 million
  8. Salt, $6.4 million
  9. Dinner for Schmucks, $6.3 million
  10. Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, $4.1 million
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