Jason Statham and Sylvester Stallone Were Unable to Preserve Expendables 4, as the Film Lost Over $49,000,000 at the Box Office

Sylvester Stallone created the Expendables franchise with the hope of bringing together some of the biggest action heroes of his time along with the younger contemporary ones.

The first two Expendables films proved to be just that with the old and new blood fighting against a common enemy giving audiences unlimited entertainment. It was a fun concept that worked well, at least for the 2 films.

The third film was when the franchise started to lose steam as the magic of the franchise did not attract audiences anymore. The franchise reached a new low recently with the release of Expend4bles. It was the worst-reviewed film of the franchise and now it has lost a significant amount of money at the box office.

Expend4bles was released amidst very low expectations on 22 September 2023. The franchise had been running low since the very mixed reception of the third installment way back in 2014. The franchise needed a big boost. There was a flicker of hope that Sylvester Stallone and Jason Statham would bring some star power and much-needed energy back to the franchise.

But it all went downhill as the film became the worst-reviewed film of the franchise. Additionally, the film managed to earn only $50.8 million against its $100 million budget (according to The Numbers). This is an all-time low for the franchise both in terms of reviews and box office returns. It is also especially disappointing that Stallone wasn’t even there for the majority of the film.

The future of the franchise is undoubtedly questionable now. With Stallone having claimed that the fourth installment will be his last, the franchise has lost its main draw for the audience. It remains to be seen whether Statham leads the franchise for a potential fifth installment or they manage to bring back Stallone for another one.

Expend4bles saw Jason Statham taking center stage while Sylvester Stallone barely being in the film. The director of the film Scott Waugh talked about this transition and how the passing of the baton from Stallone to Statham is exciting. He told Moviefone,

“I think the idea that Stallone’s passing this to Statham is exciting. Stallone still amazes me, his physical capability at his age. It’s still unbelievable to me. I’m 53 and busted up, and somehow he is in his late seventies and can still do it. But I think for Sly, he’s in a place in his life where time is super important to him.

Being on the full run of an ‘Expendables’ movie takes up a lot of his time and I fully respect that. Jason’s my age and really is still excited about continually working a lot. So it was a natural pass. Now, I’ll say, I definitely don’t think Sly is out of the brand. I think Sly will always be a part of it. He’s the starter of ‘The Expendables’ and the original director. So I think it’s new blood with the old.”


This transition may not have been the greatest decision as the film suffered tremendously, both critically and financially. The film has become a big box office bomb and the future of the franchise is bleak. Maybe they need to bring back Stallone to lead and direct a great final swansong for him in the franchise.

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