‘Expendables 4’ Begins Filming in 2016 With a 2017 Release

By October 9, 2015

Admittedly, I might not be the right person to be discussing another Expendables movie. Why? I found the previous two just okay. The original, however, scratched that nostalgia-y itch and was, in general, a good time at the movies. But after the lackluster Expendables 3 made less than $40 million at the US Box Office – mostly due to a family friendly PG-13 rating that took all the bite and fun out of the series – I thought for sure, the franchise had run its course and would tread off into the sunset to live happily ever after with the Die Hard franchise; sipping lemonade on a porch in Florida.   

Enter China.

The massive $78 mil+ haul Expendables 3 took in from China is the main reason the fourth movies in the series received the green-light, says a report from Variety. Along with Expendables 3 a movie entitled Security starring Antonio Banderas will also be in the pact that was brokered by Nu Image/Millennium movies.

Nu Image / Millennium movies “Expendables 4” and “Security” are headed for China. That follows deals with Steven Paul’s SP International Pictures on behalf of SSXH Beijing and Max Screen Film Distribution.

This is the name of the game nowadays with movies like this and, most recently, Terminator Genisys. No longer are studio films reliant on domestic numbers alone – China is now a major player in the game and because of their audience and its hunger for American Made Blockbusters, deals are being set in place to capitalize.

This is good news for studios who now have a lot of options to counter balance their risky investments. All they need to do is turn to their China distributors for help.

The “Expendables” franchise films have proved some of the most successful independent pictures in the Chinese market. “Expendables 3” grossed $39.2 million in North America where it was handled by Lions Gate Films, but $78 million in China.“Expendables 4” will shoot in 2016 and be delivered in 2017. Neither director nor cast have yet been announced, though the picture is expected to have maintain its all-action star formula. It is to be produced on a budget of over $100 million.

As stated, the movie has yet to name its cast but my money is for everyone – and I mean everyone – to return to the franchise so the same amount of return can be assured.

What I find the most interesting, this fourth picture in the franchise will be it’s most expensive budget to date with upwards of $100 million sunk into the budget.

Okay, now that the news of it all is out of the way, am I excited for an Expendables 4? Not really. It’s a tired idea and has been played out enough to not really warrant another movie. In my opinion of course. But guess what? China doesn’t care. They want the action, over the top blockbuster. It’s simple.

And it’s the world we live in now. Did you hate the latest Terminator? Doesn’t matter, everyone in China LOVED it so there’s going to be a sequel. Same goes for Expendables. 

In the end, nothing is too surprising. Before those of you out there start banging the drum for more original fare and for Hollywood to be less reliant on remakes, reboots and sequels (that goes for me too), the bottom line, always, is this is a business and the movies are made, and people come, then you don’t fix what ain’t broke. I think that’s how the saying goes.

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Mark Reilly
Born a geek a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away - Tustin, CA - Reilly is a seasoned writer and producer with over twenty years experience in the film industry. He is the co-host of 'Far, Far Away' here on GeekNation as well as 'Meet the Movie Press' on the Popcorn Talk Network; which airs live every Friday morning at 9am pst. Tweet him at @Reillyaround