Pick your Expendables Movie. Which one is your favourite?
Aug 31, 2023
Aug 29, 2023
Expend4bles could end up with the worst opening weekend of the franchise if the projections hold up.
The fourth installment of the Expendables franchise, Expend4bles, is projected to have a disappointing opening weekend.
Despite lacking real competition in theaters, Expend4bles may struggle to attract audiences due to the absence of many "big names" from previous films in the franchise.
Expend4bles could become the worst box office performer in the franchise's history.
Director Scott Waugh’s upcoming action sequel might be the most expendable of all. Expend4bles is slated to hit theaters on September 22, but the action film’s opening weekend is looking bleak. While a similar genre piece, The Equalizer 3, is forecast to make $35 million during its stint over the Labor Day holiday, Expend4bles is projected to do half of that — at best. That could end up being the worst premiere for the franchise should it come to fruition.
The fourth installment in the Expendables franchise is currently tracking to make an anemic $13 million to $18 million domestically during its opening weekend (per Boxoffice Pro). Even the ninth entry in The Conjuring Universe — a horror film — is predicted to do better business than Expend4bles. Yes, The Nun II should make $30 million when it haunts theaters.
The best domestic opening for the franchise came in 2010 with The Expendables making $34.8 million. However, the first three films did the majority of their business internationally as opposed to in the United States. Overall, The Expendables 2 made the most money with a worldwide total of $315 million. If Expend4bles doesn’t want to go down in history as the worst performer, in terms of opening weekend numbers, it needs to make more than The Expendables 3's $15.9 million — that is currently the worst of the series.
Should the numbers hold, Expend4bles will mark the lowest opening for an Expendables film in the United States. Expend4bles doesn’t have any real competition when it hits theaters either. However, Dumb Money opens head-to-head against the fourth Expendables, and A Haunting in Venice will have just started its run in theaters the week prior. Plus, Expend4bles will need to make as much money as possible during its opening weekend because Saw X will undoubtedly "cut" into its tickets sales when Jigsaw returns on September 29.
Also, the arrival of Sylvester Stallone and his team of machine-gun wielding stars won’t provide as action-packed a cast as in the previous installments. One issue that is arguably hindering the performance of the new film is the absence of many of the “big names” that appeared in the first three films of the franchise.
Arnold Schwarzenegger doesn’t return in the Expend4bles, and he only appeared in the other entries as a favor to Sylvester Stallone. Randy Couture and Dolph Lundgren do reprise their roles, but many other big action movie names have fallen to the wayside, whether it be the characters die, or the actors just aren’t involved anymore.
Bruce Willis sadly can’t return for health reasons. And then Chuck Norris, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Terry Crews, Jet Li, Mickey Rourke, Harrison Ford, Antonio Banderas — and many more — have disappeared from the cast list over the years.
Expend4bles opens in theaters on September 22 with its depleted roster of Hollywood heavyweights.
Aug 26, 2023
Aug 25, 2023
Aug 24, 2023
As the original founder of EXblog, even though I’ve stepped back from its content since my review of “The Expendables 3,” I feel compelled to share my thoughts on “Expend4bles,” the fourth instalment of a franchise that once held immense promise. Reflecting on the trajectory of the series, I find myself disheartened by the path it has taken.
In the past, I had the privilege of attending premieres for both “The Expendables 2” and “The Expendables 3,” movies that epitomized the action cinema of the 80s and 90s by uniting iconic stars of that era - the premise on which the Expendables franchise was built. EXblog flourished during those times, buzzing with readers excited about the reunion of these legends. However, the blog’s viewership has dwindled from its peak, and fewer fans check it out for Expend4bles.
The truth is, “Expend4bles” falls short of its predecessors, appearing more like an attempt to extract the last ounces of profit from a once-promising franchise. The lack of prominent action icons, with only a cameo from Sly, creates a void that’s hard to ignore. Instead of a genuine continuation, the movie feels like a calculated reboot that producers seem to be building on for future movies within the franchise’s universe, leveraging B-list and cheaper actors that have no affiliation with action movies of the 80s or 90s, or action movies in general. The only survivor beside Sly is Lundgren, who will most likely be in the background once again. Gone are the likes of Schwarzenegger, Snipes, Willis, Ford, Gibson, Van Damme, and no signs of the ones who were promised to the fans such as Chan, Seagal, Russell, and many others.
The frustration deepens when considering the missed opportunities this instalment presents. Initially planned for a theatrical release in 2017 under Sly Stallone’s guidance, based on a script written by a certain Poirier, the film aimed to be a fitting conclusion, uniting the action icons from previous instalments with the addition of stars like Chan and Seagal to provide closure to the series. Seagal even tweeted at the time about his promising involvement. Sly and his co-stars were still in their prime in 2015 when the movie was announced, capable of infusing realistic action sequences.
Alas, Avi Lerner’s personal interests, ego, and greed appear to have sabotaged this vision. The franchise’s owners scrapped the original movie’s script and release date, parted ways with Sly, undermining its potential. The outcome is a lacklustre production of a brand-new, softly rebooted movie 6 years too late, based on a different script that puts Statham in a lead role and fails to pay homage to the legacy built by its predecessors.
In my view, “Expend4bles” stands as a cautionary tale of how franchises can falter when financial gains and egos outweigh creative integrity. For my part, I won’t watch it in theatres, and I know there are those who share my sentiments, remembering the series’ golden days and hoping for a triumphant exit.
While EXblog is now managed by my friend El Rey & Co from the SZ fan site, I’m grateful to still have this platform to express my thoughts for the few out there who might value and share my perspective. “Expend4bles” is a letdown, pitifully trying to erase the triumphant beginning of a franchise that started as an unlikely success in a world of superheroes where fans of my generation saw their childhood heroes revived and given a new breath. The franchise’s impact on the new action cinema is not overly talked about either, as its unforeseen success paved the way for global R-rated movies like JW and many other R-rated action movies on streaming platforms.
In the realm of action cinema, few franchises have garnered the excitement and reverence of the “Expendables” series among die-hard fans of the 80s and 90s genre. As I reflect on what was once born to be a beloved saga, it’s not just the recent disaster and failure of “Expend4bles” that occupies my thoughts, but the series of events that culminated in its unfortunate downfall.
The first signs of disappointment emerged with “Expendables 3,” a movie that left fans puzzled by its shift to a PG-13 rating and the introduction of a group of unknown actors who took centre stage. The seed of assuring the future of the franchise through cheaper actors and the hope for a new generation of fans was already being planted in the background by Avi and Co. This decision, fuelled by producer’s greed, watered down the essence that had endeared the series to its audience. The outcome was a film lacking the gritty intensity that had characterized its earlier counterparts.
Yet, Sly Stallone, the guiding light of the series, after coming under heavy criticism, seemed attuned to fan sentiment and was determined to correct the course. “The Expendables 4” was meant to be a return to the franchise’s roots, reinstating the R-rated essence that had been lost, focusing on the action icons of the past again, and scouting better filming locations, moving away from the cheap CGIs that had plagued the first 3 movies. Unfortunately, creative discord arose, leading to Sly’s departure from the franchise and the passing of the torch to Jason Statham, leading other action icons to leave the franchise behind as well.
Ironically, the fourth instalment eventually brought Sly back in a now-reduced role and embraced an R-rating, as indicated by the latest red band trailer. This gesture suggests a belated acknowledgement of the misstep in “Expendables 3.” However, the damage is done—too little, too late. The franchise has forfeited its identity and authenticity.
“Expend4bles” now attempts to reclaim its essence with an R-rating, but it’s evident that the franchise’s roots have been compromised. The inclusion of ill-suited actors, the subtle reboot without admission, and the manipulation of marketing to appear responsive to fans all signal a series adrift from its course.
It’s almost an affront that producers believe they can manipulate their audience into embracing a diluted version of what was once an electrifying cinematic experience of the 80s and 90s action genre. Fans aren’t naive; their power has been demonstrated before. “Expendables 3” serves as a testament, where audience sentiment translated into a box office disaster that almost killed the franchise.
The trajectory of the “Expendables” franchise is a tale of sacrificing creative integrity and fans’ desires for financial motives. What once epitomized action camaraderie of the legends of the 80s and 90s is now a farce, a reminder that franchise essence can easily erode when profits, greed, and egos overshadow authenticity. As I observe the franchise’s descent, I’m left with a mixture of nostalgia and regret—a legacy tainted by a series of misguided choices, and what could have been a legendary franchise. Rest in peace EXPENDABLES.