www.411mania.com
|  News |  Film Reviews |  Columns |  DVD/Other Reviews |  News Report |
SPOTLIGHTS  SPOTLIGHTS
MOVIES/TV
// Carla Howe Shows Off Her Swimsuit Body in Instagram Selfies
MUSIC
// Aubrey O'Day Sticks Out Bikini Butt In New Instagram Pic
WRESTLING
// 411's WWE RAW Report 9.15.14
MMA
// Joe Rogan May Have Just Called You All a Bunch of Racists
GAMES
// Acheivement List for WWE 2K15 Leaks


MOVIE REVIEW  MOVIE REVIEWS
//  The November Man Review
//  As Above, So Below Review
//  Sin City: A Dame to Kill For Review
//  If I Stay Review
//  The Expendables 3 Review [2]
//  The Expendables 3 Review
 HOT MOVIES
//  The Dark Knight Rises
//  The Avengers
//  Prometheus
//  The Amazing Spider-Man
//  Iron Man 3
//  The Hobbit
SYNDICATE  SYNDICATE



411mania RSS Feeds





Follow 411mania on Twitter!




Add 411 On Facebook
 


 
 411mania » Movies » Columns

Advertisement
The Death of Action Heroes: Expendables 3 Bombs at the Box Office
Posted by Steve Gustafson on 08.18.2014














My name is Steve Gustafson and thanks for stopping by. Big thanks to Parts & Labor in Baltimore for a delicious dinner on Saturday and the Washington Nationals for taking care of me and my friends on Sunday. Let's get into it.



Many years ago, screenwriter David Callaham pitched The Expendables to a producer at Warner Bros. His draft of the screenplay eventually drew the attention of Sylvester Stallone, who took control of the project and re-wrote the script. With a budget of $82 million and the promise of gathering the biggest action heroes of the past, the film was about a group of elite mercenaries tasked with a mission to overthrow a Latin American dictator whom they soon discover to be a mere puppet controlled by a ruthless ex-CIA officer James Munroe. It pays tribute to the blockbuster action films of the late 1980s and early 1990s. It earned $34.8 million in its opening weekend and took the #1 position in the U.S. box office. The film has made $103,068,524 in the U.S. and $171,401,870 in the international box office, bringing its worldwide gross to $274,470,394.All

The formula of bringing together various icons of movie history looked solid. Audiences were able to (again) enjoy the big screen stylings of Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Terry Crews,Steve Austin, and Mickey Rourke. Not to mention Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger appear in uncredited cameos.

A sequel was quickly green lit and went on to out-gross the first movie with $312.5 million and received a more positive critical response.

A third movie was announced and even more names were attached. After production had wrapped, Randy Couture confirmed that, although The Expendables 3 had not yet been released, there were already plans for a fourth installment. This was confirmed in March 2014 by former James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan, who stated that he had agreed with Avi Lerner to star in a future The Expendables sequel. Hulk Hogan claimed on hisTwitter account that he will be in the fourth film.

This is the part where we're getting a little ahead of ourselves.

Let's go back to the formula. Take a simple plot from the action movies of the 80s and 90s. Fill the movie with actors that audiences are familiar with, both younger and older icons. Release and watch the money roll in.

Not quite.

The Expendables 3 opened way, way below expectations this weekend. It took the #4 spot with just $16.2 million, far under the low to mid-twenties that Lionsgate was projecting it to do. With a budget of $90 million, it will need a strong international showing to make its money back and help continue the franchise.

So what went wrong?

PG-13 Rating
Love or hate movies from the 80s and 90s but one thing they had was excessive violence. Take a look at any offering from Stallone or Schwarzenegger and you'll see mega-explosions, gunfire galore, and a pinch of nudity here and there. A PG-13 rating is a nice try to make a grab at a broader audience but it can send a signal to the core fans that they're being robbed of seeing what this movie is supposed to be: Over-the-top action with over-the-top action heroes!

Marketing
This is an old standby when ANY movie bombs. "It was marketed wrong." I just don't buy it with The Expendables. This is the third film in the franchise and people know what they are getting when they buy their ticket. The trailers were nothing special but at the same time, they didn't lead you to believe this was a period piece from the Shakespearean era. Which leads to...

Franchise Fatigue
Are people just tired of the idea of old men blowing things up? The film's initial numbers are the worst in franchise history. Look at the trend. The first opened to $34.8 million in 2010 while the second debuted to $28.6 in 2012. That's three films in a relatively short period. When you keep drilling for oil in the same well, you're bound to go dry. Which leads to...

Competition
Let's blame young audiences! With the continued strength of Guardians of the Galaxy and the surprising Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, did younger viewers simply not care? Both those movies managed to do more than $20 million in their third and second weeks in theaters. In a crowded marketplace, someone has to come last.

PIRACY!
OK, this excuse really caught wind this weekend. As the disappointing numbers came in over the weekend, studio executives privately pointed the finger at a leaked copy of the film that hit the internet three weeks before its debut and was seen by 2.2 million people. 2.2 million.

I'll admit that I've seen copies being sold on the streets of DC the past two weeks, so I can believe it's even more rampant on pirate sites around the world.

"This is really a clear situation where this had an impact," said Phil Contrino, vice president and chief analyst of BoxOffice.com. "It's hard to measure, but the ripple effect, not only of the downloads, but of the word-of-mouth that spread as a result, can be seen in the soft opening."

It's tough to measure the impact of piracy on box office numbers. As easy as it is to point at the negative impact it has, you always find an exception to the rule. Take X-Men Origins: Wolverine. It was leaked over a month before it's opening date and it still made $373 million worldwide.

Still, research suggests that piracy can take a big chunk out of ticket sales. A 2011 study by Carnegie Mellon University researchers found that when a film is pirated prior to release, it loses nearly 20 percent of its potential revenue.

Is it time to say goodbye to The Expendables? Is a fourth one really necessary? I like the concept and feel its potential was never really scratched. I was never looking for Oscar worthy screenwriting and acting but I feel more weight could have been given to the franchise and its principal actors. Looks like we'll never get a chance to see the Hulkster get his moment to shine (again?) on the big screen.

My question:





Before I say GOODBYE!
Are you a fan of 411mania on Facebook? Keep up-to-date on news and contests!

Are you following 411mania on Twitter?
http://www.twitter.com/stevethegoose
http://www.twitter.com/411mania
http://www.twitter.com/411wrestling
http://www.twitter.com/411moviestv
http://www.twitter.com/411music
http://www.twitter.com/411games
http://www.twitter.com/411mma

If you have some down time and are looking for a great place for great fun, check out Tiger Flash Games!

For some additional reading you can check out my Comics 411. Also, if you like hot women, my Sexiest Cosplayers will keep you occupied.

Click and read my interview with Playboy'sMiss June, Jessica Ashley! While you're at it, check out my interview with Playboy's 2014 Playmate of the Year, Kennedy Summers!

That's all the time I have. See you next week!





MUST-READ 411 STORIES:

Top 8 Most Anticipated Fall Shows

Aubrey O'Day Instagrams Booty Pic

Chris Brown - X Review


comments powered by Disqus











www.41mania.com
Copyright (c) 2011 411mania.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
Click here for our privacy policy. Please help us serve you better, fill out our survey.
Use of this site signifies your agreement to our terms of use.