It’s been billed as Arnold Schwarzenegger’s big comeback: an epic return for the king of action films after a decade governating.
But his new blood-splattered flick ‘The Last Stand’ proved a damp squib, in the US at least.
Despite a huge promotional effort from the Austrian Oak, the film limped in at number ten in the US charts (over four days), making just £4.6 million.
To put that into context, that’s less than half the £8.2 million made by his 2000 effort ‘The 6th Day’ – another big flop.
Thrashing ‘The Last Stand’ in the US charts was not only surprise horror hit ‘Mama’, but also awards contenders ‘Silver Linings Playbook’, ‘Django Unchained’ and ‘Les Miserables’ (all have been out for at least two weeks). Even flop ‘Gangster Squad’ and Mark Wahlberg bomb ‘Broken City’ made more cash.
Perhaps ‘The Last Stand’ will pull in more punters overseas – it’s released in the UK this week – but we can’t help feeling that public affection for Schwarzenegger is perhaps over-estimated by studio execs.
After all, he’s been most famous in recent years for belatedly admitting to a string of affairs, and his subsequent divorce from Maria Shriver.
And let’s not forget, Arnie’s projects before he became the Governor of California in the early 2000s hardly set the world alight. ‘Around The World In 80 Days’? ‘Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines’? ‘Collateral Damage’? ‘The 6th Day’? ‘Batman & Robin’?
Indeed, his last decent film was probably ‘True Lies’, which was made 18 years ago.
Tastes in action movies have changed significantly since Schwarzenegger’s 80s heyday. Thanks to ‘The Matrix’, ‘Bourne’ and ‘the Dark Knight’, adrenalin-seeking film fans know they can do better than brainless nonsense like ‘The Last Stand’.
65-year-old Schwarzenegger has a couple more chances to prove himself with the upcoming action flicks ‘The Tomb’ - where he stars opposite Sylvester Stallone - and SWAT team adventure ‘Ten’.
If these flop as well, it could be time for Arnie to bow out gracefully and finally collect that OAP bus pass.