Box Office Report: ‘Expend4bles’ Records Lowest-Ever Franchise Opening with Just $3.2 Million on Its First Day

Audiences appear to be avoiding the latest installment of “The Expendables.” The fourth film in the ensemble action franchise opened with a disappointing $3.2 million on its first day, making it the lowest opening in the series so far. This figure includes a meager $750,000 from Thursday previews.

“Expend4bles” is projected to debut well below expectations, falling short of the $15 million to $17 million range predicted for its opening weekend. It’s also behind the $15.8 million that “The Expendables 3” earned nine years ago. The franchise’s box office performance has been declining since the first film, which opened with $34.8 million in 2010, followed by the sequel in 2012 with $28.5 million. Millennium Media financed the film, while Lionsgate handled distribution in the U.S. and U.K. Despite this weak domestic debut, Lionsgate hopes to turn a profit through digital and VOD releases.

“Expend4bles” is in a tight race for first place against the third weekend of “The Nun II.” If it does manage to come out on top, it will lead one of the lowest total box office weekends of 2023. Projections suggest that movie theaters may fall short of the $52.6 million earned in February on Super Bowl weekend, which was the lowest figure of the year.

Sylvester Stallone and Jason Statham continue to be the franchise’s key leads, despite various action genre staples shuffling in and out of the cast. While the film has received poor reviews and bad buzz domestically, with a “B-” CinemaScore rating, there is hope for better international performance when global box office figures arrive on Sunday, especially given the film’s production budget of around $100 million. “Expendables 3” earned over 80% of its $214 million gross outside of North America.

In addition to Stallone and Statham, Randy Couture and Dolph Lundgren return for this “Expendables” installment, with Megan Fox, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Tony Jaa, and others joining the cast. Iko Uwais plays the villain, and the Expendables aim to prevent World War III in this outing directed by Scott Waugh.

Competitors anticipate a 46% drop for “The Nun II” in its third weekend, which, coupled with its 55% decline last time, still reflects a stronger hold compared to the typical horror release after the opening weekend. The film’s total domestic gross should exceed $68 million by Sunday.

Disney’s “A Haunting in Venice” is expected to take third place, tracking similarly to Kenneth Branagh’s previous Hercule Poirot film, “Death on the Nile,” which earned $20 million in its first eight days in North America.

Sony’s “The Equalizer 3” is sliding to fourth place, with the Denzel Washington action film set to surpass $80 million in domestic earnings by Sunday.

In its tenth weekend of release, Warner Bros.’ “Barbie” remains in the top five, boosted by a limited engagement in IMAX theaters and adding more than $700,000 on Friday.