Monday Morning Quarterback Part I
By BOP Staff
August 20, 2012
Suggested Alternate Title: Social Security
Kim Hollis: The Expendables 2, aka Best Exotic Action Hero Hotel, earned $28.6 million this weekend. What do you think of this performance?
Jason Barney: Not to start off on a negative note, but I find this result disappointing by a number of measures. I will give it credit. It won the weekend with $28.6 million against a crowded field, but that is about as far as I can go. On to the issues I have with this opening. First, it is never great when a sequel opens below the numbers of the original. $28 million vs $36 million a couple of years ago is not the kind of growth you want to see from something that has been labeled a new franchise. Second, this opening really didn't meet my personal expectations. I did think it would do better, surprising and at least exceeding the opening weekend take of the original. Third, everything was really in line for the possibility of a breakout. Last week's openers weren't doing very well. The Bourne Legacy and The Campaign both had fairly high drops, Batman has been holding strong recently, but is no longer in the top three. Of this week's new films it was the only one in the action genre. I just think it should have done better.
Perhaps I am being harsh because I do pull for Stallone to remain relevant. This sort of opening does maintain his status, but it is a far cry from the money he used to take in.
Edwin Davies: This is a fine, if unspectacular result that was pretty much in line with what I expected. We often talk about how the success of a sequel is largely determined by the quality of the original, and the first Expendables wasn't an especially good film. Not that it was trying to be great art, but it promised dumb action fun which it very rarely achieved. (With the one exception of the moment when Terry Crews mows people down with a minigun, which is awesome.) As such, the first film didn't live up to to what its audience hoped for, so the sequel has performed in line with those somewhat lowered expectations. The fact it has retained most of the opening weekend total of its predecessor can probably be put down to the prominence of Schwarzenegger and Willis in the ads, which play up their presence as more than glorified cameos the second time round.
Bruce Hall: These are tough times, so I guess 28.6 million bucks is 28.6 million bucks. But it's significantly off from the first film, and this is despite (by its own modest standards) being superior to the original. Adding more faces to the cast clearly didn't help, so I have to wonder - are people already tiring of the gimmick? Sly is talking about a third one; maybe they'll add Channing Tatum and Taylor Lautner, because that's the only way I see interest in this franchise doing anything but continuing to decline.