Almost 10 years have passed between The Expendables 3 and The Expendables 4. A long time in which many fans no longer believed in another sequel to the series about action icon Sylvester Stallone and his team of mercenaries. After the fourth part hit theaters in September 2023, it sank commercially.
It is now clear that The Expendables 4 one of the biggest financial flops of Stallone’s career is. The reasons for this are diverse.
The Expendables 4 with Sylvester Stallone could make a loss of up to 100 million
According to Box Office Mojo, the fourth installment in the action series grossed just $35 million. With a budget of $100 million, this is a disastrous result and could result in a $100 million loss for the studio, according to Screen Rant. Since The Expendables 4 is now being taken out of cinemas in the USA, this is probably a fairly final box office result.
But what went wrong with The Expendables 4? The failure of the blockbuster can be explained by several reasons.
Reason 1 for The Expendables 4 flop: The action sequel came far too late
The fourth Expendables film came nine years after the third part. It already damaged the reputation of the series with a more audience-friendly orientation, for which the usual bloody R-rated action was exchanged for tame, cut-up PG-13 maneuvers.
So the fan base wasn’t exactly keen on The Expendables 4. After the sequel disappeared into production hell for a long time and it took some time before filming could finally begin in 2021, interest in the film continued to dwindle.
Check out Yves’ negative video review of The Expendables 4 here:
A disappointment The Expendables 4 Review
Reason 2 for The Expendables 4 flop: Sylvester Stallone is hardly in the film anymore
Even before the film’s release, it was more or less clear that Sly himself would have less screen time in his Expendables farewell film. In The Expendables 4 he ultimately is barely more than 10 to 15 minutes total to see what will have spread quickly immediately after the release. The interest of fans in watching the fourth part of the action series in the cinema may have decreased even further.
Reason 3 for The Expendables 4 flop: Other action icons are not in the film at all
The fourth part features Stallone, Jason Statham and Dolph Lundgren hardly any stars left for nostalgic fans of 80s action cinema. What began as a flagship of the series has hardly anything to do with the successful concept of The Expendables in The Expendables 4.
Names like Megan Fox, Curtis ’50 Cent’ Jackson and Jacob Scipio (?!) are unlikely to have excited fans in advance. The high-profile action stars Tony Jaa and Iko Uwais, on the other hand, are wasted in brief appearances or stereotypical villain roles.
Reason 4 for The Expendables 4 flop: Reviews tore the action blockbuster apart
As if the previous reasons weren’t already overwhelming enough, the reviews for the fourth Expendables film were also unanimously devastating. The action film comes in at one on Rotten Tomatoes a miserable average of just 14 percent. Even the largely unpopular third part still achieved an average of 31 percent.
Reason 5 for The Expendables 4 flop: The age rating is higher again
The fourth Expendables film got the higher R rating again due to more explicit violence. Actually good news, but compared to the PG-13 rating of its predecessor, it was also a Larger cinema audiences excluded.
With The Expendables 4, Sylvester Stallone finally said goodbye to the action series. His exit couldn’t have come at a more appropriate (or bitter?) time.
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