Despite diminishing returns, the fourth film in The Expendables franchise should have enough gas in its tank to secure first place.
This weekend sees the release of the fourth film in the highly lucrative Expendable franchise that launched over thirteen years ago with the Sylvester Stallone directed original. The Expendables was able to secure a solid $34.8 million opening on its way to a $103 million domestic finish while its international numbers were even better, adding another $171.4 million for a worldwide take of $274.4 million. Just two years later we were treated to the follow up, aptly titled The Expendables 2, which was able to secure a $28.5 million debut with an $85 million domestic total. Yet again international audiences proved their love for the series by adding another $229.9 million to the films tally giving it a solid $314.9 million worldwide take.
Then 2014 came and whoever was in charge at the time said “Hey, lets take these ultra violent hard R rated movies that are built for people who grew up with the ultra hard R rated action films of the 80’s… and make it PG13! Yeah, that’ll work!”
It did not work! 2014’s The Expendables 3 would open to a paltry $15.8 million on its way to a lackluster $39.3 million domestic total. Yet again, international audiences were the saviors, adding another $175.3 million to the films box office giving it a solid $214.6 million worldwide total.
So now, after a nine year absence, are audiences ready to return to the world of pure shut your brain off action? They learned one lesson from the last film: Expend4bles is Rated R. The good news for this fourthquel… quadquel maybe?! The good news is that those international numbers have already begun rolling in as the film opened last week in some international territories where it snagged a solid $11 million debut in China. The reason that is good news is because right now Expend4bles, as is its official title, is tracking a bit soft. More in line with part 3 than parts 1 or 2.
I have seen box office analysts put its opening anywhere from $10 to $20 million. Usually I just split the difference right down the middle, but I think this one has a chance to go a bit higher, in the $17 million range. Legacy sequels have had a bit of a tough time at the box office this summer and early word from critics seems to be that this one may be a bit of a let down. Of course this franchise was never a big critical darling with only the second one receiving a majority positive reviews, so critical word of mouth isn’t this franchises biggest selling point.
Second place will be a toss up between two spooky tales, The Nun II and A Haunting in Venice. I think The Nun II has the edge to continue pulling in solid numbers for the next few weeks as we ramp up through the Halloween season. The film has already amassed more than enough box office dollars to be considered a certified hit ($163.6 million worldwide off a $38 million budget). I can see it hitting right around $10 million for the weekend.
As for A Haunting in Venice, despite having the best reviews of the series, including a 7/10 from our own JimmyO, it opened last week in second place with just $14.2 million. Generally the second weekend is where we see the biggest drop off for a film. This one does have the same spooky factor in play that The Nun II has, but sometimes people feel like if they haven’t seen the previous films in a franchise then there is no point in seeing any of them. For these Hercule Poirot films, each film is a stand alone story with little to no connection to previous films. So if that was what was keeping you from taking in A Haunting in Venice, rest assured you won’t be lost. With that said, I believe an at least 50% drop is in the cards, with a weekend take around $7 million.
Fourth place will go to Denzel Washington’s butt kicking Ex-CIA vigilante Robert McCall in The Equalizer 3. I was finally able to see this one just last night and found it to be an excellent final chapter to the franchise, a view Chris Bumbray and I share as he also enjoyed the film and gave it an 8/10 in his review. With the film pulling in just over $7 million in its third week of release, I think this one will start to even out more with smaller week to week drops and can see this weekend doing $5 million in business.
Fifth place is a bit tricky to predict. You have the threequel My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 hoping to remain in the top five for a third weekend with what could be around $3 million in receipts. However, that little movie called Barbie has not fallen out of the top five since its release ten weeks ago. Well, Warner Bros must have gotten word that this would probably have been the weekend that may happen and decided to give the film a one week run in IMAX, a format the film had not yet played in due to Oppenheimer’s utter dominance of the format. To entice viewers back to theaters for the limited event, the IMAX version of Barbie will feature never before seen footage after the credits that has been personally selected by the film’s director, Greta Gerwig. I do think this will be enough to get the film to remain in the top five for another week with around $4 million in receipts.
Outside the top five, but worth mentioning are the openings of the supernatural horror film It Lives Inside. The film features Indian talent in front of and behind the camera and although this is an American produced film, I could see the same crowd that propel Bollywood films to such success coming out to support this film.
Expanding this week is the excellent true story Dumb Money that tells the story of how everyday schlubs took on the stock market and kind of won. The film goes fully wide next week, but if it is playing near you, I highly recommend checking it out as it is a genuinely fascinating film that chronicles something that happened just a few years ago.
Do your weekend plans include taking in a delightful feature film? If so, let us know what you plan on seeing in the comments and don’t forget to check back on Saturday when we have a brief update on where this weekends box office numbers are heading.
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Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/box-office-predictions-expend4bles-to-punch-through-the-competition/