Arnold Schwarzenegger's ‘Sabotage’ Is Actor's 3rd Straight Bomb, Lowest Box-Office Opening Ever – Will He Be Back?

Arnold Schwarzenegger's 'Sabotage' Is Actor's 3rd Straight Bomb, Lowest Box-Office Opening Ever – Will He Be Back?

“Sabotage” is his worst wide opening ever, but his schedule is still packed with “T5” on the way

Arnold Schwarzenegger set off his third consecutive box-office bomb with “Sabotage” this weekend, but it's going to take more than that to stop him from making movies.

It's a little like his character in “The Terminator,” who just keep's coming back despite taking some major blows. And for the record, Schwarzenegger will begin shooting a fifth “Terminator” movie in a few weeks.

“Sabotage,” a David Ayer-directed thriller about a drug bust gone bad, took in just $5.2 million this weekend for Open Road Films. That's the worst wide opening ever for the 66-year-old action star, and his third straight flop since the former California governor returned to the big screen. Last year's “Escape Plan,” in which he co-starred with Sly Stallone, opened to $9.2 million, and “The Last Stand” was even worse with $6.2 million.

Also read: ‘Sabotage’ Review: Schwarzenegger Came Back to Hollywood for This?

Schwarzenegger's roughly 30 movies have made more than $4 billion at the worldwide box office since his first movie, “Hercules in New York,” debuted in 1970. But his biggest hits, like the “Terminator” movies, “True Lies” and “Total Recall” came decades ago.

The Governator's camp wasn't commenting Sunday, but it's clear he's not quitting any time soon. The superstar already has two movies in post-production, and more films in the works.

One is “Maggie,” a post-apocalyptic horror film directed by Henry Hobson that co-stars Abigail Breslin and Joely Richardson. He's one of the producers on the low-budget Gold Star Films project, which follows a teenage girl in the Midwest who becomes infected by a disease that slowly turns the victims into zombies. It's set to open later this year, but doesn't have a release date yet.

The second is “The Expendables 3,” the latest in the series of bad-ass geezer films from Avi Lerner‘s Nu Image/Millenium Films. The first two brought in nearly $580 million at the worldwide box office, with the vast majority of that coming from abroad.

Also read: ‘Noah’ Rides Controversy to $44 Million Box-Office Triumph

That's significant, because Schwarzenegger can still be a force at the overseas box office. The best evidence of that would be “Escape Plan” which, despite topping out at $25 million domestically, brought in more than $112 million internationally. It was a major hit in China, while taking in nearly $41 million, and may yet spawn a sequel.

“The Expendables 3,” which is set for an Aug. 15 release via Lionsgate in the U.S., is a veritable who's who of aging acting stars including Stallone, Jet Li, Mel Gibson and Harrison Ford, among others.

“Arnold has been a box office bust in the U.S. ever since he came back from his political tour of duty, and even before that his star was steadily falling,” Exhibitor Relations vice-president and senior analysts told TheWrap. “The reason he's still being offered modestly budgeted action films at his age is the fact that overseas audiences are still smitten with the aging action star.

“Obviously it ain't 1986 over here anymore, but he can still flex his muscles abroad,” said Bock.

Schwarzenegger has several projects in development, including “Terminator: Genesis,” which Paramount has set for July of 2015. Alan Taylor (“Thor: The Dark World”) is directing and James Cameron, who directed and wrote “The Terminator” in 1984, returns to write the script on that one.

Also read: ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ Opens to Huge $75 Million Overseas

Also on his schedule are Universal's “The Legend of Conan,” Montecito Pictures’ Ivan Reitman-directed “Triplets,” in which he'll re-team with his “Twins” co-star Danny DeVito, and a remake of “The Toxic Avenger.”

There's also a TV movie written by Steve Banks, “The Governator.”

  • Harry

    I thought Arnold was dead. Probably will be after this fiasco. Yawnnnnnn…

    • Cyclops

      He will be dead IF T5 flops. Hoping for the best with that.

  • william

    We all get old harry remember that harry and i still love his movies not pg 13 action it sucks

  • Michael Field

    His movies are bombing because “80s action flicks” don't sell any more. You want big explosions and cheesy lines? You better include talking robots or comic book superheros. Standard “One man….one city..” types simply don't work in this day and age. Especially when the “one man” is far too old to play the role.

    • chien_clean

      I'll say that the sort of movies he's making right now are more like 70s action flicks wich were simple revenge tales. Look at the movies he's had success with in the 80s: other than Commando, they were big science-fiction/fantasy flicks. Terminator, Conan, Predator, Total Recall, Running Man made money. While Red Heat, Raw Deal and others of that kind failed. Even in the 80s, his successful flicks were more in line with the super-hero flicks of the day. Wheras his faliures then are similar to his failure now.

      Let's just see how Terminator 5 makes.

      • Michael Field

        Very true, I was thinking more along the lines of the Die Hard type movies. That seems to be what he's making now, or as you said “revenge tales”. Either way they are boring, already told a million times, types of movies. Only this time he's 90. I loved the guy back in the day, with the movies you mentioned. But hell, I love my Dad and I still look up to him even though I'm in my 40s….but I don't want to see him (trying) to run around beating up bad guys. It just wouldn't work.

        • Cyclops

          Except for Danny Ttrejo.

        • chien_clean

          But hey what is gonna do? Guys like him don't retire. He was on a morning show yesterday and he seemed proud in saying that he “makes two movies a year” and that he was busy all the time. The box office for these sort of action flicks don't exist and I can't imagine him doing character-actor stuff, it doesn't pay enough. They'll have to literaly throw him away from Hollywood for him to stop. And when they do that, he'll find foreign money backing. lol

    • Jessi

      Yeah. I think he needs to stick with “The Expendables” series because those seem to be the only action movies of his that actually do well these days (even though he doesn't have huge parts in them.)

    • d

      You obviously didn't watch the film. Maybe you should actually watch before passing judgment that its just an 80's genre film

      • Michael Field

        I didn't need to see the movie, as the article pretty much spelled everything out for me. Not to mention my comment was clearly about all of his recent “bombs”, not specifically this movie alone. Maybe you should actually READ before passing judgement on my comment.

  • AJ

    “I'll be back” is starting to sound more like a threat rather than an endearing catchphrase .

  • mr rascal

    Love the ego Arnnie…gettin any new stuff lately?

  • ckm88

    So far, the only actor I think can pull off being an aging action star and get away with it is Sean Connery.

  • DavidisALLright

    Wait..James Cameron returning to write the script for T5? Is this correct or a mistake?

  • Rationalist

    Come on, Todd, James Cameron is so NOT writing the script for T5.

  • Tom

    Does his son with the maid have a cameo is this film?

  • Cyclops

    I look forward to Conan 4. I hope that they don't treat it as a comic book movie, like they did “Conan the Destroyer.” If they treat it like the oriiginal, it should work.

  • Jake Gaston

    I left the theater on this one. Unless you like the F-bomb so much you cannot go 10 seconds without hearing it, I suggest staying away.

  • Tim

    Sabotage was hard to categorize. It might have been advertised as an action movie, but it's more of a drama/revenge flick with some action thrown in for good measure, IMO.

  • pocketfrog

    ‘“Obviously it ain't 1986 over here anymore, but he can still flex his muscles abroad,” said Bock.’
    Who the hell is Bock?

  • md

    Sabotage was one of the best films I've seen this year. Most of the comments are probably being made by people who didn't even see the film.It bombed because every one is a pussy.if you'd rather see the muppets or divergent then you've lost your penis. One comment from a male was he left the theater due to hearing the F word.Seriously? What happen to society?

  • AramMcLean

    We live in a global village. How movies do in the USA is not the only measure of their true success.