Monday Morning Quarterback Part I
By BOP Staff
August 16, 2010
Hey! Where is The Rock?Kim Hollis: The Expendables, starring every actor you've ever seen plus several you haven't, opened to $34.8 million. What do you take from this result?
Brett Beach: Although there are enough action stars to go around in this cast that determining which part of the weekend gross was a result of which actor's name would be a fun game to play in perpetuity (maybe they should have movie patrons fill out a questionnaire at the theater?), this is Stallone's baby all the way, since he is director. co-writer and star. Much like Gran Torino gave an aging Eastwood his best ever opening weekend just two years ago, Stallone has his best opening weekend ever and his strongest as a lead since his 1985 Rambo II-Rocky IV doublepunch heyday, a quarter of a century ago! With his return to those characters well received this past decade and this 1980s-esque project pulling serious coin this weekend, Stallone is giving fans/moviegoers what they want (it would seem) and being rewarded accordingly.
Josh Spiegel: I take from this result what I've mentioned elsewhere on this site: my complete befuddlement at people still treating Sylvester Stallone like a star. Don't get me wrong: the success of this film, Rocky Balboa, and the last Rambo movie prove that he's a shrewd enough actor/director to know what mass audiences want. I, however, see the ads for this movie and worry that the 63-year-old dude with the faux-Tony Stark facial hair is going to break his hand firing a gun. Obviously, this is a success, but the idea seems like it would've been cool 20 years ago, and just kind of sad now.
Matthew Huntley: What I take from it is a manipulative marketing campaign that paid off very well. The mere appearance of Stallone, Schwarzenegger and Willis (a.k.a. the Planet Hollywood trio) in the same movie, even if it was only for a few minutes, made action fans of the '80s and '90s giddy and they couldn't wait to see it on opening weekend. Obviously, the inclusion of other action stars like Statham, Li and Rourke didn't hurt. But I feel the majority of damage has been done these past three days and The Expendables will have a tough road ahead as it tries to break though $100 million. I'm not convinced it will get there, but with a moderate budget and likely strong international numbers, it can be considered a success. I also wouldn't rule out a sequel.
Reagen Sulewski: This is a film that works a lot more in concept than reality - getting a butt load of action stars together for one film seems like something that should offer some amped up action (more stars means more action!) but you still only have about 100 minutes of film regardless (anyone other than Stallone and Statham gets basically one big scene). Luckily for Stallone, he's worked up enough good will from Rocky Balboa and Rambo that he can get people to take a chance on a bigger project like this, but does anyone not see the same problems that led to his downfall in the '90s rearing up again?