The Big Picture
- The fourth installment of the Expendables franchise, Expend4bles, is expected to have a disappointing opening weekend with an estimated $8 million debut, reflecting the declining popularity of the series.
- Although the franchise has always been more successful internationally, negative reviews and lack of interest may further impact the movie’s performance despite its visible decline in revenue over the years.
- The Nun II is on track to potentially top the weekend chart for the third consecutive weekend, with an estimated weekend total of $7.5 million and a global box office surpassing $200 million.
As the industry awaits a deal in the ongoing SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes, the same studios that have held off on paying artists a fair wage are proceeding with the release of movies withouth the stars to promote them. But while The Nun II and The Equalizer 3 were able to deliver solid debuts recently, this week’s fourth Expendables film — stylized as Expend4bles — is looking at a franchise-low, single-digit opening. Released almost a decade after the last installment in the action series, Expend4bles grossed $3 million on Friday, including $750,000 from Thursday previews, and is expected to deliver a three-day debut of around $8 million.
The franchise has always been more popular overseas, and despite a visible decline in revenue over the years, Lionsgate would hope that international audiences show up for the movie despite negative reviews and a general lack of interest. The movie earned a so-so B- CinemaScore from opening day audiences, and currently sits at a “rotten” 16% score on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. Collider’s Chase Hutchinson called it the “worst” entry of the franchise — a movie with “plenty of cheese though no charm or craft.”
Fronted by Sylvester Stallone, the franchise began as a tongue-in-cheek vehicle for veteran action stars, and actually proved to be quite successful initially. Released in 2010, The Expendables grossed $103 million domestically and $268 million worldwide; The Expendables 2, which debuted just two years later, grossed $85 million domestically and over $310 million worldwide. The Expendables 3 was released in 2014, a few days after being leaked on piracy websites; it ended its domestic run with less than $40 million, but grossed $209 million worldwide.
The Top Four Movies on This Weekend’s Chart Are All Sequels
Slipping to the number two spot (for now) after topping the weekend chart twice in a row, The Nun II added $2.4 million on its third Friday, and is looking at a weekend total of around $7.5 million. The movie could actually end up topping the chart for the third weekend in a row if Expend4bles further under-performs on Saturday and Sunday, by which time The Nun II‘s running domestic haul should be within touching distance of the $70 million mark. Globally, the movie is expected to pass the $200 million mark this weekend, which should put it in the same zone as several other Conjuring Universe films, but still over $150 million short of The Nun’s lifetime haul in 2018.
Taking the third spot after a soft debut last weekend, director-star Kenneth Branagh’s A Haunting in Venice added $1.7 million on Friday. The third installment in Branagh’s Hercule Poirot murder mystery series is eyeing a sophomore weekend haul of around $5.5 million, which should take its running domestic total to just under $25 million. The film is pacing to become the lowest-grossing entry in the series, which was already on a downward spiral with last year’s Death on the Nile grossly underperforming against a bloated $90 million budget.
The fourth spot went to another sequel. The Equalizer 3 added $1.3 million on its fourth Friday, and is eying a little less than $5 million this weekend. By Sunday, the film’s running domestic total should pass the $80 million mark, meaning that it’s around $20 million shy of ending the action franchise on a record high. But because both the first and second movies grossed near-identical totals in their respective box office runs, anything lower than $101 million will make The Equalizer 3 the lowest-grossing installment of the series. Rounding out the top five is Barbie, which is holding on to a respectable position despite now being available on digital, and having played in theaters for two full months. The blockbuster is looking to add $3.5 million this weekend, thanks to an IMAX boost. Stay tuned to Collider for more box office updates over the weekend.