Sylvester Stallone was the “winner” of the Falling Star title in our 2014 Summer Movie Awards – and not without fair reason, either. Fact of the matter is, Sly’s last four movies – Bullet to the Head, Escape Plan, Grudge Match, and The Expendables 3 – have all performed well below expectations at the U.S. box office. Even the third Expendables and its action star-packed cast have only been able to muster $37 million in ticket sales here in the States so far (and no, as our Rob Keyes pointed out, piracy was not the reason).
Now we’re hearing talk that Rambo 5 will become a reality sooner than later, from no less an authority than Stallone; about a month ago, the actor/filmmaker said he’s already begun his grueling physical training regime, in order to convincingly play the eponymous Vietnam War veteran once last time. The Millennium Films website identifies the project as being (appropriately enough) titled Rambo: Last Blood, while Film Divider has gotten word that local crewing services in Shreveport, Louisiana have started recruiting staff to work on the film, with a listed production start date of October 27th, 2014.
Problem is, there are other reliables sources of movie-related information – Collider‘s Steven “Frosty” Weintraub to be exact (see below) – who have been informed that a fifth Rambo movie is not happening… not in the immediate future, anyway. Such claims are all the more worth taking into consideration, with this news coming so soon after Expendables 3‘s weaker-than-expected box office performance.
a few people that would know tell me the RAMBO sequel isn't happening. I can't confirm the info, but it's from solid sources.— Steven Weintraub (@colliderfrosty) September 10, 2014
Truth be told, this is all just business as usual for the fifth Rambo film installment. The project, according to the rumor mill, has been actively moving forward, then dead in the water, then once again trudging forward, multiple time over the six years since the fourth installment, Rambo, was released in theaters in 2008. Again, as was mentioned earlier, Sly’s career seems to have hit a rough patch recently, so now might be as fitting a time as ever for him to return to the Rambo franchise well.
Question is, has the weak U.S. ticket sales for Stallone’s recent left Rambo: Last Blood (which Stallone wrote and may also direct) unable to get a studio greenlight? Well, not necessarily. Both Escape Plan and The Expendables 3 performed far better outside the U.S., taking in some 75-80% of their total gross from the international market and pushing their current global totals to $137 million and $152 million, respectively. Last Blood should probably cost around the same amount as 2008’s Rambo ($50 million), which likewise took in most of its $113 million total from outside the States. So as far as investments go, Rambo 5‘s a decent bet.
This brings us to perhaps the question – do most people want to see Rambo: Last Blood? So far, there appears to be a solid divide between those who want to see John Rambo go out in a blaze of glory – battling Mexican drug cartels as Stallone has indicated is the plan – and those who feel Rambo (2008) was the perfect conclusion to the title character’s journey. Fingers crossed, an official update on Rambo 5 will come sooner than later, so we can all stop wondering if this movie is going to happen or not – and move forward from there.
We’ll let you know more about Rambo 5/Rambo: Last Blood when we do.