Stallone’s “The Expendables” heading to Spike TV … eventually

By Sean O’Connell The theater-to-home-video window may be shrinking, with some studios announcing new deals to stream on Netflix months after films have had their world premieres. But the theater-to-basic-cable frame isn’t nearly as tight.

Take “The Expendables,” fir instance. Sylvester Stallone’s star-studded muscle flick dominated last weekend’s box office, taking in an impressive $35 million against tough competition from “Eat Pray Love” and “Scott Pilgrim.” This morning, Spike TV announced that they have scored the licensing rights for the film’s first free television window, and will air “The Expendables” … in 2013.

Set your DVR.

“We are very excited about the tremendous box office opening of ‘The Expendables,’ and we’re delighted to license it to our partners at Spike TV as the latest film in our steady diet of high octane action thrillers ideally suited to their audience,” said Lionsgate Television Group President Kevin Beggs. “We’re committed to monetizing our strong slate of films in all distribution platforms, and Spike has proven to be a perfect partner for our action thrillers.”

Stallone, who directed “Expendables,” co-stars alongside Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Eric Roberts, Randy Couture, Steve Austin, David Zayas, Terry Crews and Mickey Rourke.

It will be interesting to see how “Expendables” does in its second weekend. With no real competition on the docket (“Nanny McPhee” and “The Switch” aren’t expected to lure away Stallone’s male demographic), the film could win its second weekend and add to its hefty overall take.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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