The lure of Sylvester Stallone’s old school action extravaganza proved irresistible for North American audiences as the boys with toys blew Julia Roberts’ comeback vehicle Eat Pray Love out of the water.

The Expendables debuted on $35m and boasts a who’s who action cast comprising Jason Statham, Jet Li, Steve Austin, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, Dolph Lundgren, Mickey Rourke and Stallone’s old friends Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger – the latter two featuring only briefly. Lionsgate is releasing in North America.

Sony’s Eat Pray Love opened well in second place on $23.7m and the literary adaptation marks the first bona fide lead role for Roberts in many years.

Javier Bardem, Richard Jenkins and James Franco add support in the story of a disillusioned woman who embarks on a global journey of the senses. Ryan Murphy directed the Elizabeth Gilbert adaptation.

Sony’s strong summer continued as comedy The Other Guys held well in third place on $18m for $70.5m after only two weekends. Inceptionranked fourth and stands at $248.6m after five weekends through Warner Bros.

Universal’s comic book adaptation Scott Pilgrim Vs The World opened in fifth place on a disappointing $10.5m. It stars Michael Cera as a Canadian slacker who must defeat his dream girl’s seven evil exes. Mary Elizabeth Wanstead, Jason Schwartzman and Anna Kendrick also star.

Toy Story 3 fell out of the top ten for the first time in nine weekends but Disney chiefs will take much cheer from the fact that it crossed $400m to stand at $400.8m. The film has become Disney’s biggest worldwide animated release on $940.1m

Next weekend’s wide releases include The Weinstein Company/Dimension Films’ horror remake Piranha 3D from Alex Aja; Universal’s Nanny McPhee Returns with Emma Thompson; Warner Bros releases the comedy Lottery Ticket; and Fox opens on Wednesday the comedy Vampires Suck.

Estimated Top 10 North America August 13-15 2010
Film (Dist) / Est wkd gross / Est total to date

1 (-) The Expendables (Lionsgate) Nu Image $35m –

2 (-) Eat Pray Love (Sony) SPRI $23.7m –

3 (1) The Other Guys (Sony) SPRI $18m $70.5m

4 (2) Inception (Warner Bros) WBPI $11.4m $248.6m

5 (-) Scott Pilgrim Vs The World (Universal) UPI $10.5m –

6 (6) Despicable Me (Universal) UPI $6.8m $221.9m

7 (3) Step Up 3-D (Buena Vista) Summit Int’l/ Universal $6.6m $29.6m

8 (4) Salt (Sony) SPRI $6.4m $103.6m

9 (5) Dinner For Schmucks (Paramount-DreamWorks) PPI $6.3m $58.8m

10 (7) Cats & Dogs: The Revenge Of Kitty Galore (Warner Bros) WBPI $4.1m $35.1m