Last weekend, Jeremy Renner proved he is not only a great actor, but can carry a film by himself. The Bourne Legacy debuted higher than expected, taking in $40 million at the box office last weekend. Renner filled the void left by Matt Damon and has helped Universal carry on the Bourne franchise with Renner at the helm. I’m a huge Renner fan but I found the film slow and confusing at times. I don’t mind a smart action thriller, but you can’t leave in blatant plot holes and expect the viewer to follow along. Renner’s reign as the new action king will not last long when the old timers blast their way into theaters in The Expendables 2.
When Sylvester Stallone assembled the first group of stars for The Expendables my first reaction was I want to see this movie….fifteen years ago! Sly had gathered all the action stars from the past (Rourke, Willis, Schwarzenegger) and present (Statham, Li, Crews) to create an ode to shoot-em up 80’s action films my generation grew up with. Despite all the geriatric jokes, The Expendables made $266 million worldwide. Everyone loved making the film with maybe the exception of Mickey Rourke. A sequel was inevitable with the money return from the original.
This time around more stars from the past will show up in the action smorgasbord The Expendables 2. This time around Stallone recruited Jean-Claude Van Damm who turned down a role in the first film but was not about to make the same mistake twice. Willis and Schwarzenegger’s roles have been extended from mere cameos in the first film. Stallone added some youth to the mix with addition of Liam Hemsworth because you can’t make a blockbuster film these days without a Hemsworth involved. Finally Sly pulled of the biggest coup getting the most feared man alive, Chuck Norris, to make an appearance in the sequel. I could get into the plot but no one really cares about that. We just want to see the old guys kick some butt in their golden years.
Movie audiences love to see the old folks getting into trouble on the big screen. Grumpy Old Men, Steel Magnolias, and Cocoon are perfect examples. All three of the films I just listed made bank at the box office. Throw in the nostalgia factor for children of the 1980’s, and it will make The Expendables 2 number one at the box office this weekend. I expect Stallone and the gang of over- the- hill action stars in The Expendables 2 to make $43 million dollars at the box office this weekend.
Sadly, the release of The Expendables 2 marks the end of the summer movie season. Hollywood will move into its dead zone of releases in September, with movies that weren’t strong enough to hold their own at the box office this summer. Follow me on Twitter @CW44CouchPotato and don’t forget to become a fan on Facebook.
1. The Expendables 2 – $43 million
2. The Bourne Legacy – $21 million
3. The Campaign – $ 19 million