Get to the FLOPper.
Arnold Schwarzenegger's Sabotage opened to a terrible $5.2 million, making it (adjusted for inflation) the biggest box office bomb of his four-decade movie career.
In 2014, the man who was once one of the biggest movie stars in the world can no longer open a movie. More people saw I, Frankenstein, Vampire Academy, The Legend of Hercules, Tyler Perry's Single Mom's Club, Devil's Due and Winter's Tale than Sabotage on their first weekends.
Arnold has been everywhere the last month. He went on the talk show circuit and Jimmy Fallon blessed him with a viral video. He went on Monday Night Raw and posed in a ring with Hulk Hogan. He cooked a goddamn steak and egg sandwich on Epic Meal Time. If the average movie ticket is $8.35, 622,754 American people went and saw Sabotage last weekend. Two weeks ago, a video of him crushing things with a tank (for a good cause) got nine million views.
$5.2 million in three days. His buddy cop comedy Red Heat with Jim Belushi made $8 million in three days in 1988. Sabotage is an ensemble film with a generic title, but perhaps now in hindsight, was unwisely marketed as an Arnold standalone project. Sam Worthington, despite being the lead the top grossing film of all-time, Avatar, was barely mentioned and is barely recognizable. It probably didn't help that it opened opposite Noah, but are meathead action fans really into the bible to skip Arnold in a movie where he has neck tattoos?
Despite its 22 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, I dug Sabotage. I love the work of writer/director David Ayer and his conviction to commit to cop flicks on the big screen when, odds are, there is an episode of Law & Order playing for free on TV right now. Here, he actually gives Arnold some room to... act. Despite being decked in a crew cut, bulletproof vest and machine gun, he shares some decent scenes with Rushmore's Olivia Williams where, for a fleeting moment, that thick accent and pump-you-up caricature disappears.
Arnold's last three starring vehicles since retiring from politics and un-retiring from acting (Sabotage, The Last Stand and Escape Plan) have grossed a combined $42 million. Each film, released within 14 months of each other, were brutally reviewed and met with total apathy.
Why does no one care about Arnold Schwarzenegger?
Is it because he was elected and then re-elected as Governor of California? Like, for real, I know there's nothing to even say about this that hasn't been said, but this man governed a state and nonetheless, the state where Hollywood is in. That's a trip.
Is it because he and Maria Shriver broke-up after he fathered a child with their Guatemalan housekeeper? It can't be. The American public are a forgiving lot, but we are talking about a Kennedy here.
Did time just simply pass him by? The R-rated action hero is dead. Liam Neeson and Jason Statham are the closest things left of those Cold War relics of the 80s. He spent a decade away from movies and in that time, his machismo-oozing alpha male was replaced with superheroes and CGI robots.
So what should Arnold do? It's obvious that his name above the titles is not putting asses in seats in America they once did.. His Planet Hollywood cohorts are having the same problem (see: Bullet To The Head, Grudge Match, A Good Day To Die Hard). Only when all three of them are together in a Buzzfeed Presents: Do You Remember The 80's?! movie can they make money.
Arnold doesn't need money. His career choices don't need justifying -- he's done it all. Who does he have to please but himself and his seemingly shrinking loyal fan base? Certainly not this jerkoff blogger. But I'd hate to see him in his twilight years become (even more?) irrelevant because of his stubbornness to still want to be the man. Does he need a John Travolta-by-way-of-Quentin-Tarantino role to jumpstart his comeback tour? Is he capable of taking a supporting role and not a glorified extended cameo? Can he do a movie where someone isn't killed? This dude starred in a Christmas movie opposite Sinbad and it's played every December at least a hundred times.
Can you imagine a huge, cigar-chomping Austrian man in a Wes Anderson movie?
If familiarity breeds contempt, Arnold's IMDB page lists upcoming projects as The Expendables 3, a Terminator sequel, a Twins sequel and a Conan sequel. Can nostalgia and nostalgia alone convince people to invest their $8.35 in Arnold again? Is this another Robert Downey, Jr. fairy tale narrative? Does he even need a comeback?
I care about Arnold Schwarzenegger, but I want Arnold Schwarzenegger to care about me, too.
Follow Chris Krapek on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ChrisKrapek