I got to talk to Arnold Schwarzenegger this week, but just for a few minutes. We spoke about his new movie Aftermath, his career trajectory, his best one-liners, and the future of franchises like The Terminator and Conan the Barbarian. I didn’t ask him about The Expendables, because there just wasn’t enough time and, frankly, I’m not a huge fan of The Expendables series, which has never delivered on the promise of its amazing casts of ’80s and ’90s greats teaming up for action madness.
They might be called The Expendables, but the team is losing one of its key members as Sylvester Stallone is officially parting ways with the franchise he helped create. Following a crucial dispute over the creative direction for the fourth chapter in the ensemble action series, Stallone has walked away from the project — and from what would be his biggest paycheck yet, which says something substantial about his stake in the franchise.
The Expendables is a good time. Sylvester Stallone and his almost-over-the-hill pals unite in an explosion-filled thriller flick that sees all of our dads’ favorite action heroes team up to fight crime and save the world. The two sequels were less of a fun time, each one more repetitive and earning less at the box office than the last, but it looks like the buddies will be reuniting for one last ride in 2018.
The Expendables 3 was not a big hit. Despite packing in even more all-star action heroes, the film topped out at just $35 million (down from over $100 million for the original). But, the Expendables franchise is still popular overseas and, as we’ve seen recently with Pacific Rim and Terminator Genisys, sometimes that’s enough to keep sequel hopes alive. To keep The Expendables going, Lionsgate has pacted with SSXH Beijing for investment in The Expendables 4, which is now planned to go into production in 2016 for a release some time in 2017.
‘Expendables 3’ was not a hit; there’s no way around that. After the first film grossed over $100 million, the second grossed $85 million and the third, a paltry $35 million. Most of us would probably point to the fact that the ‘Expendables’ franchise was never made up of particularly good movies and eventually that wore thin with audiences. Sylvester Stallone would prefer to deflect the blame elsewhere though: the film’s PG-13 rating. He says that when ‘The Expendables 4’ happens it will ditch the PG-13 rating and go back to it’s gritty R-rated roots. Also, there's going to be an ‘Expendables 4'??