Expend4bles Hits Franchise Low at the Box Office, Proves We Don't Need Another Sequel

Expend4bles Hits Franchise Low at the Box Office, Proves We Don't Need Another Sequel
Image credit: Millennium Films

The fourth installment proves that it's time for Stallone and Statham to move on.

Once upon a time, getting major action stars together in one place seemed like an incredibly uplifting and appealing idea, and The Expendables was a true phenomenon in 2010, thanks to an impressive cast, a compelling (and R-rated) plot, and great special effects for the time. But as the years went by, a sequel was released in 2012 and another in 2014, offering the same gimmicks as the first movie and consequently attracting fewer and fewer fans.

And now, on September 22, nine years after the failure of The Expendables 3, another installment was released in the USA. Only it seems that the public has finally had enough of the idea. After all, Expend4bles had the worst opening in the franchise's history this weekend, and broke another anti-record in the process..

Panned by everyone

Despite a premise that had the main characters stopping World War III, as well as the star-studded cast, the movie was incredibly coldly received. The average Tomatometer score on Rotten Tomatoes is a measly 15% as of September 25. A lot of critics noted how pointless the plot and the dialog were, as well as how bad the visual effects turned out to be.

'This is true 21st-century trash: a movie in which the action itself is expendable,' film critic Owen Gleiberman said for Variety, and the box office is a great testament to that.

The lowest-grossing weekend

This was the industry's worst weekend of 2023, grossing $48.9 million domestically, even less than February's Super Bowl, which grossed $52.6 million. But even under those circumstances, Expend4bles failed to land at the top, losing out to the horror film The Nun II.

The latter, which has been in theaters for three weeks, managed to regain holdover status, earning $8.4 million this weekend. Expend4bles, on the other hand, only grossed $8.3 million at the box office, despite Lionsgate targeting $15-17 million.

For comparison, that's far less than the first three installments: even the failed The Expendables 3 made $15.8 million in its first weekend, 47% more than Expend4bles.

Of course, things could change once the worldwide box office is announced. Still, it seems like it's time to stop trying to sell an idea based solely on celebrity performers.

Source: Variety.