Schwarzenegger's Sabotage sinks at US box office

News Simon Brew 31 Mar 2014 - 06:51

Arnold Schwarzenegger's new film opens to his lowest numbers in three decades. Are Arnie's leading man days over?

We think we can fairly safely say now that Arnold Schwarzenegger's days as a leading man capable of opening a movie are long gone. Outside of the Terminator franchise (and other assorted film series), finding a studio chief willing to write a big cheque for one of his movies is about to get much, much trickier.

That's because his third project since he threw himself fully back into movies, Sabotage, sank heavily at the US box office over the weekend. Its opening weekend total of $5.3m was a drop from the hugely disappointing numbers for his big comeback movie, The Last Stand. The Last Stand, which we really quite liked, opened with $6.3m. Since then, Escape Plan snared a $9.9m opening weekend, but that's been as good as it got.

Ordinarily, we wouldn't report on box office like this, but it feels like this is confirmation that Arnie's audience simply doesn't want to pay to watch his films at the movies any more. Had either of his three most recent projects opened in the 1990s, it's not hard to conceive of substantially higher box office numbers. But whilst Schwarzenegger went away for nearly a decade to follow his political ambitions, his audience went away too. The vast majority have clearly not returned.

Sabotage arrives in the UK on May 7th. By then, Schwarzenegger will be making Terminator: Genesis, which should at least lead to box office gold. He'll also be seen in this summer's The Expendables 3.

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