The first Expendables movie was great, the second wasn’t bad, but the third was awful. Either blame the dip in quality, or the fact the film was leaked on-line way before the official release date, but the third film was the worst performer in terms of box office returns.
The first film took $275 million in worldwide box office sales, while the sequel achieved just under with $268 million. The third film took much less with just $206 million, but a fourth film has now been confirmed by Variety.
The ending of The Expendables 3 left things open for another installment, but I hope to God it is not passed on to a younger bunch as the third film suggested, that truly would be disastrous. There is also talk of the fourth film being R-rated, since making the last film a PG-13 in the US made no difference in reaching a wider audience, and if anything put people off seeing the film. Because let’s face it, these sorts of films require a heavy dose of brutal action, as that is why we watch them.
Anyway, the report by Variety says that Nu Image/ Millennium Films have made a deal with Steven Paul’s SP International Pictures on behalf of SSXH Beijing and Max Screen Film Distribution, to distribute both The Expendables 4 and another action film called Security.
The deals cover equity investments in both films and provide Chinese distribution rights. Both movies may use China as a location for some scenes, though it is not expected that there will be enough Chinese elements for them to be considered as full co-productions.
China is an in-demand place for movies right now, and making deals there can make a lot of money. The reason China has been sought after for The Expendables 4 is that the Chinese box office returns doubled the US ticket sales for The Expendables 3, and made up a third of the worldwide box office sales. Chinese box office sales came to $78 million, while the US hauled in just $39.2 million.
“Expendables 4” will shoot in 2016 and be delivered in 2017. Neither director nor cast have yet been announced, though the picture is expected to have maintain its all-action star formula. It’s a given that Stallone, Schwarzenegger and Statham will return, but I wonder what new names will be added to the cast. It is to be produced on a budget of over $100 million.
“What seems to work in their favour in China, is that these movies are good old-fashioned shoot ’em up entertainment,” Paul told Variety.