"The Last Stand"'s Opening Is Arnold Schwarzenegger's Worst in Nearly Three Decades; Will "The Tomb" Do Better?

Posted 4:48 PM January 23rd, 2013 by Senh Duong
The Last Stand

I’m not sure if anyone was expecting Arnold Schwarzenegger’s comeback film “The Last Stand” to sell like gangbusters at the box office. If you did, you would be disappointed. After all, it did open in one of the slowest months of the movie-going season. Even Lionsgate, the studio backing it, was hesitant, only willing to part with $30M to make the film. You would have to go back a couple decades to find a Schwarzenegger action film with a budget this low.

Still, the trailer was decent and the posters were stylish. Box office pundits were predicting an opening between $12M-$15M. That would be a solid opening for its modest budget.

Unfortunately, for Schwarzenegger and his dwindling fan base, that’s not the case. Over the long Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, “The Last Stand” pulled in a very weak $7.2M at the box office. According to BoxOfficeMojo.com, this is Schwarzenegger’s worst opening since “Raw Deal,” which did $5.4M back in 1986. No one was expecting “The Last Stand” to bomb this badly.

Reviews were actually not bad, especially for an action movie. It scored 58% on Rotten Tomatoes. Their consensus reads: “There's nothing particularly distinguished about it, but for Schwarzenegger fans The Last Stand provides perfectly undemanding entertainment.”

Audiences agree. It scored a “B” on Cinemascore, which is decent.

It makes you wonder if Schwarzenegger’s infidelity has forever tarnished his image. He is a “movie star,” and they do rely on their image to make a living. And, currently, he’s known as the guy who banged his housekeeper and had an illegitimate child. Even for guys who don’t care about his personal life, it’s probably tough for them to drag their significant others along to support a cheater.

It’s like what happened to Mel Gibson after his anti-semitic remarks and Russell Crowe after his phone-throwing incidents. These two guys can’t open movies anymore. Yeah, “Les Miserables” is doing well, but it’s more because of Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway than Crowe.

Of course, the true litmus test is whether or not Schwarzenegger can still open a Terminator movie, which is currently in development. Schwarzenegger announced yesterday that he’s involved in the fifth film; a day after “The Last Stand” bombed. Even he knows he needs to start mining sequels to his most popular films to get back on his feet.

Schwarzenegger still has another chance to prove his drawing power this September when he pairs up with his former rival Sylvester Stallone in the prison thriller “The Tomb.” How that does depends on whether or not people already had enough of them in “The Expendable” movies.

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