AceShowbiz - Not even Jason Statham and Sylvester Stallone can save "The Expendables 4". "Expend4bles" is a box office bomb as it opens to a disappointing $8.4 million, far low than its initial projections of $15-17 million.
The action-packed movie suffers the franchise's worst opening weekend as the figures weren't anywhere close to its series predecessors of 2014's "The Expendables 3" with $15.8 million, the 2012 sequel "The Expendables 2" with $28.5 million and 2010's original "The Expendables" with $34.8 million.
Without encouraging reviews or positive word-of-mouth, it's no surprise that the last installment in the "Expendables" film series flops at the North American box office. "The last two 'Expendables' have dropped sharply from the previous episodes, and the weekend figure is below average for the genre," says David A. Gross, who runs the movie consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research Critics. "Reviews are poor and audience ratings are dull."
Still, the result must be a huge disappointment to Lionsgate and Millennium as the fourquel cost $100 million to produce, roughly the same as its predecessors. "The movie was not cheap to make," Gross adds. "While ancillary income should be strong, it appears the film will have a hard time getting to profitability after marketing and distribution costs."
The film still relies on its star-studded cast which includes franchise's vets Dolph Lundgren and Randy Couture. Megan Fox, 50 Cent, Tony Jaa, Iko Uwais, Jacob Scipio and Levy Tran are among the newcomers to the series, along with Andy Gracia.
"The Expendables 4" ends up landing on the second place after a tight race with "The Nun II", which holds on to the first place for a third straight week with an estimated $8.4 million. "A Haunting in Venice" drops one spot to No. 3 with an estimated $6.3 million.
"It's a star-studded franchise, but horror is a different situation," notes Paul Dergarabedian, the senior media analyst for Comscore. "It just seems no matter what if you're scared in the movie theater a couple times in an hour and a half or two, that's worth the price of admission."
"The Equalizer 3" also falls one rung to No. 4 with approximately $4.7 million. At no. 5, "Barbie" still carries some momentum from the summer into the fall season as it has added an estimated $3.2 million to its domestic gross, which has so far reached $630.4 million.
Overall, this weekend grossed the lowest since December 9, 2022, according to Dergarabedian. It was also the first time since the weekend of February 10, 2023 to not have a movie earn over $10 million. But Dergarabedian is optimistic that a "spectacular October" could be on the way with the much-anticipated "Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour" concert film, "The Exorcist: Believer" and "Saw X".
"Things are going to change next week or the weeks after when Taylor Swift hits the multiplex," he says. "This is the natural ebbs and flow of the box office. That means one thing: We'll be back to normal."
Top 10 of North America Box Office (Sep. 22-25, 2023):