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This image released by Lionsgate shows Sylvester Stallone (left), and Jason Statham (center), in a scene from ‘Expendables 3.’ (AP)
Lionsgate granted expedited discovery to confirm identities of pirates New tricks can’t rescue ‘Expendable 3’

In its third incarnation, “The Expendables” has become, well, expendable. Despite some ruthless new tactics, there’s no saving “The Expendables 3,” the overpopulated third outing of Sylvester Stallone’s all-star action ensemble.
Perhaps recognizing its own mortality, “Expendables 3” goes for a kitchen-sink approach. There’s the injection of AARP-eligible action stars like Wesley Snipes, Mel Gibson and Harrison Ford into the already bursting-at-the-seams cast, as well the addition of some junior Expendables. Those extra bodies don’t add any oomph to the stiff dialogue or predictable plot.
After liberating a long-lost Expendables comrade (Snipes) and watching another (Terry Crews) go down in a battle with Gibson’s maniacal arms dealer, the third installment finds team leader Barney (a more puffy yet still personable Stallone) booting his pals (Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture) in favor of younger, prettier models.
 
Barney plods across North America with a guerrilla recruiter (Kelsey Grammer) to assemble the Expendables 2.0: an angst-filled soldier (Kellan Lutz), a lippy hacker (Glen Powell), a cocky weapons guru (Victor Ortiz) and a lady bouncer (mixed-martial artist Ronda Rousey), who is unfortunately reminded every time she’s on screen that — yeah, bro — she’s female. The unmemorable Millennials are kidnapped almost as quickly as they’re introduced. Obviously, it’s up to the old-timers to save the day. It doesn’t really matter how or why they do it though. Ultimately, it feels like every one other than series shepherd Stallone is merely here to be another face on the crowded 16-person poster, not to actually play any sort of character.
 
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Antonio Banderas provide the film’s comic relief. Banderas does so intentionally as a motor-mouthed, out-of-work assassin who really wants to be on the team, while Schwarzenegger’s return as Expendables associate Trench is just laughably bad. Of course, acting isn’t why anyone goes to one of these “Expendables” movies.
It’s the explosions, fights and chases featuring the likes of Terminator and Rambo!
Yes, the shoot-’em-up action from director Patrick Hughes and cinematographer Peter Menzies Jr. is as tight as a “Call of Duty” match-up, especially the brainless, bloodless climatic battle through an abandoned Eastern European hotel complex. However, the film’s sporadic set pieces simply aren’t captivating enough to forgive all the movie’s other faults.
It’s frustrating because the cast and crew are definitely old enough to know better.
“The Expendables 3,” a Lionsgate release, is rated PG-13 for language and violence including intense sustained gun battles and fight scenes. Running time: 126 minutes. One star out of four.
 
 
Lionsgate has been granted expedited discovery in their ongoing case against a variety of websites that began offering pirated torrents of “The Expendables 3” weeks before its upcoming theatrical release.
In a document filed on Wednesday, the US District Court authorized expedited third party discovery to discern the identities and locations of the defendants. These are the owners and operators of several websites including limetorrents.com, billionuploads.com, hulkfile.eu, swankshare.com and dotsemper.com.
Lions Gate Films Inc filed an ex parte application for authorization to serve subpoenas on third parties who provide services to the defendants, seeking information that could reasonably be expected to lead to the discovery of the defendantsí true identities and locations.
As most torrent sites are hosted outside of the United States, it can be very difficult to discern the identities of the owners of each site. Lionsgate has reached out to the various sites included in their original lawsuit, but have indicated they’d received no responses.
“The Expendables 3” is due in theaters on Aug 15, with some industry experts certain it will lose millions of dollars in potential box office revenue due to the pirated copies, which have been downloaded more than 2 million times.
 
Question
Meanwhile, the question hanging over this weekend’s box-office race is how big a hit “The Expendables 3” will take from the leaked copies of the action epic that surfaced on the web two weeks ago.
Reigning champ “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” is the movie to beat. It’s coming off an impressive $65 million opening last weekend and, given the current lack of kid stuff in the market, likely will fetch $30 million for Paramount.
Fox’s R-rated comedy “Let’s Be Cops,” which opened to $1.2 million in limited early shows Tuesday night, looks like the major challenger and should wind up north of $25 million for the three days. The other wide opener, the Weinstein Company’s fantasy adaptation “The Giver,” is aiming for the mid-teen millions.
Sly Stallone’s latest guns-and-geezers epic had been expected to give the half-shell heroes a run for the money, but that was before the leak. Some pre-release tracking has it coming in between $25 million-$28 million — roughly what the second “Expendables” debuted to in 2012 — but that doesn’t take into account the impact of the clandestine copies that were on the net before distributor Lionsgate sued.
Analysts project somewhere between $20 million and $25 million, suggesting a loss of several millions over the opening weekend.
Executives at Lionsgate and Avi Lernerës Millennium Entertainment and Nu Image, which produced the $90 million “Expendables,” weren’t talking Wednesday. Fox distribution chief Chris Aronson empathized, however.
 
“We’ve been there, and it’s not a good place,” Aronson said, referring to 2009’s “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.” An unfinished version of that film hit the web about a month before it came out. It still brought in $85 million in its first weekend, but Aronson estimated that it cost them about $10 million.
He and “Let’s Be Cops” are in a good place this weekend, particularly after their strong 10 pm ET Thursday shows, just a little under those of last year’s “We’re the Millers” and July’s “Tammy,” which opened to nearly $38 million and $33 million, respectively. If the $17 million “Let’s Be Cops” comes anywhere near those numbers, it will be another of this summer’s R-rated comedy success stories.
The “Expendables 3” formula hasn’t changed since the first film featuring Stallone’s over-the-hill gang landed in 2010, and why would it? The first two installments have grossed over $575 million, with the bulk coming from overseas, and that should be the case with this one, too. The aging action heroesí box-office muscles might have atrophied domestically, but they still pack a punch overseas. Wesley Snipes, Antonio Banderas, Mel Gibson and Harrison Ford join the lineup for the PG-13-rated “Expendables 3,” along with returnees Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Terry Crews and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Patrick Hughes (“Red Hill”) directs.
It will be in 3,221 theaters.
 
“The Giver” is an adaptation of Lois Lowry’s beloved 1993 young adult novel, “but with a Weinstein Company twist,” said distribution chief Erik Lomis of TWC, which partnered with Walden Media on the fantasy tale, which has a production budget in the mid-$20 million range.
A big reason is the prestige cast, which includes Academy Award winners Meryl Streep and Jeff Bridges, along with young stars Brenton Thwaites and Odeya Rush. Philip Noyce (“Salt”) directs the fantsy tale, set in what seems a Utopian society. Katie Holmes, Alexander Skarsgard and Taylor Swift co-star.
Disney and Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy,” which is up to $188 million domestically and more than $325 million worldwide, will be back for its third week and should help the box office outpace the comparable frame from a year ago for the third straight week. But the season is still more than 15 percent down from last summer, the biggest in history. (Agencies)
 
 By Derrik J. Lang

By: Derrik J. Lang

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