March 31, 2014

Is There Still a Chance for Arnold’s Comeback?

If you’ve been following the social networks these days you might have thought that Arnold’s latest movie Sabotage was gonna be a hit.

Appearances on various shows and events by the man himself and other cast members really gave the impression that they were promoting a sure fire hit.

And then it happened. Sabotage bombed. It made a paltry 5mil.

The second Arnold vehicle since his comeback that bombed.

So where does that leave his career now in the days of sequels and superhero adaptations? When are studios gonna stop giving him money because he isn’t a box office draw any more?

I remember reading an interview with Arnold last year where he said that he didn’t wanna stage his comeback with a sequel to some of his big franchises, he wanted  for new audiences to get to know him with some new roles and movies. Now this is all nice and all, but I think that Arnold forgot that this is not the 90’s anymore where you could still made a blockbuster that wasn’t a sequel or an adaptation. These are different times, sad times for originality. At this point I’d like to compare his comeback with Stallone’s.

Sly was, I believe, always smarter than Arnold with his career. After all, Arnold was lucky to work with some great directors that knew how to use him properly while Sly (and his career) was self-made. He usually wrote and produced some of his more important movies. So Sly started off slowly, testing the waters, and letting people know he’s still around by playing a kooky villain in a Spy Kids movie. Then he made Rocky 6 on a shoestring budget for 20mil that made around 150mil which is seven times its budget.

That enabled him to get more money from the studios to make Rambo 4 on a 50mil budget and it made around 120mil, not much but I’m guessing that DVD sales were great (I remember seeing them everywhere). And the rest is history. So far Sly only had one dud which was Bullet to the Head (even Grudge Match made it’s money back at least). Arnold’s  Last Stand only made it’s budget back and while Escape Plan was a solid hit, the reality is that was probably more because of Sly than him. Although in the past Arnold was a bigger star than Sly, now it’s Sly who is a bigger box office draw than him.

I don’t think Arnold planned his comeback properly. Sly saw that the market is sequel-oriented and that one action star can hardly open a movie so he followed his one-two punch of Rocky/Rambo with The Expendables. I think Arnold made a mistake for not making a sequel to Terminator or Conan as his first comeback movie and then build up from there.

At this point I think that the studios are just humoring Arnold by giving him some small cash to finance his small movies, but for how long?  When are they gonna say: yeah Arnold, you’re great and all but your movies don’t make any money man, so we’re gonna stop financing them. But we do have some DTV projects if you’re interested.

I don’t wanna see one of the greatest box office stars fall to DTV. So what does the future hold for Arnold? I say both good and bad. His next movie is some kind of bizarre supernatural drama where he plays a dad of a zombified girl which is even more detached from what the general public is used to seeing him in, so that’s gonna bomb as well. But then he finally has a new Terminator coming up which should put him back into the spotlight (it’s a big studio movie), and I hope he’ll make his own one-two punch by following it with King Conan.

If he does that he might get the general public interested in him again. My advice for Arnold would be that when he finishes with T5 and King Conan, he should find a way to appear in a comic book movie. This is where all the attention is today and if one superhero movie gives him leverage to do more of him smaller less profitable movies I’m all for it. Maybe Cable in an X-Men movie?

About the Author

Milos Misic



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