As was previous reported by Film Drunk’s founder/editor-in-beefcake Vince Mancini, The Expendables 3 had an atrocious showing at the box office on its opening weekend, earning only $16.2 million, about $10 million below expectations (and as famed racist caricature Ari Gold would say “Expectations. You beat ‘em by a dollar, life is great. Under by a dollar, put a gun to your mouth and make sure I’m standing behind you.”). The film ended up coming in 4th place at the box office behind Let’s Be Cops. As if losing to token cop-comedy of the summer wasn’t bad enough, Variety has given Stallone another reason to feel absolutely awful. Todd Spangler reported that although Expendables 3 has been downloaded over 5.12 million times since it was leaked on July 23rd, the film is not the most illegally downloaded film on the internet.
That likely contributed to the action movie’s dismal box-office debut this weekend. But over the same July 23-Aug. 18 time period, the movie was No. 4 in downloads, after “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” (7.31 million), “Divergent” (6.29 million) and “The Amazing Spider-Man 2″ (5.88 million). Moreover, that’s despite “Expendables 3″ becoming available more than three weeks prior to the film’s U.S. theatrical debut.
For the week ended Aug. 18, the movie was the fifth most popular title on piracy services, with 1.54 million downloads. That trailed “Captain America” (2.61 million downloads globally), “Spider-Man 2″ (1.70 million), “Noah” (1.62 million) and “Divergent” (1.55 million), per Excipio.
These numbers lead me to believe that even if Expendables 3 hadn’t been leaked three weeks earlier and garnered an opening weekend gross closer to expectations, there still would have been a steep drop after the first week and that drop would have been blamed on some external force (Ferguson, ISIS, Ronan, etc…) rather than the fact that it’s clearly a bad movie. This flop was inevitable. Everyone knows it. And to those of you who actually believe this film would have been a success had it not been for the piracy, all I have to say is this: