Again confirming that box office grosses don’t always dictate a sequel, Sylvester Stallone confirmed earlier today on his personal Facebook page that he is indeed planning The Expendables 3, and has already locked in action star Nicholas Cage in a prominent role, while he seems to be eyeing Harrison Ford, Wesley Snipes, and the return of Mickey Rourke for the threequel.
Here is the actual statement from Stallone on Facebook:
“We are preparing the film with the same passion and commitment as the previous two. We have confirmed Nicolas Cage, a master actor who gives a veneer intellectual group. Hopefully we can realize to Harrison Ford, Wesley Snipes and Mickey Rourke. That is the great mission of the producer. We will continue with the same narrative scheme, the agility and the frenzy, which are inherent to the saga. What will definitely be the last? I cannot guarantee. In principle it would be two deliveries, but the affection of the people encouraged us to work on a third. I guess as long as we amused ourselves by offering fun and people, we can continue playing The Expendables. For now we are not as expendable as it should and as some critics want.”
It seems by his “not as expendable” line that Stallone admits the short-comings of The Expendables 2. The film grossed almost $20 million less than the original domestically, and critics weren’t feeling the action star nostalgia a second time around, even when the sequel added Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Damme. On the other hand, Expendables 2 earned $206.7 million overseas, which is significantly more than the original’s $171.4 million foreign grosses, driving the worldwide grosses for the sequel above the original by a small margin.
Stallone seems that he will continue to make these movies as long as audiences will continue to buy tickets. Lionsgate Films, who distributed the last two films, had a similar outlook with the Saw franchise, which saw the seventh and last installment drop in 2010. However, this isn’t a fair comparison. Both Expendables movies cost between $80 and $100 million to make, while the Saw films cost between $1.2 and $20 million to make, so, in the end, the Saw franchise was vastly more profitable. Unless Expendables 3 is a huge hit, managing to out-gross at least the second installment, it could possibly be the last in the franchise.
The Expendables 3 will see the return of Sylvester Stallone and Jason Statham, and is currently eyeing John Woo to direct the film.