This is yet another example of Hollywood executives trying to get milk from a cow that's been dead for the last 10 years. Rambo is a classic and you can't find anyone who doesn't know a Rambo movie. With the total revenue of the franchise being $765 million dollars, you would think that the franchise is a global success. If you broke the numbers down, you'll find out that you may be wrong.
When Rambo came out, it garnered in $47 million in the U.S. with a budget of $15 million. That is a very successful movie. For the time, it was one of the most popular movies to come out. It's so successful that it's being talked about today as one of the greatest action flicks ever. It came as no surprise to anyone that Rambo: First Blood Part 2 was announced to the world. Executives decided to put a little more money in this installment than the last one and it paid off tremendously. That movie more than tripled its revenue compared to the first installment, garnering $150 million with a $25 million dollar budget. The finally had a formula, they finally saw a greater return for their investment, so of course, the wanted to give it another shot.
When Rambo 3 came out, it flopped. It may still be good for fans of the franchise, but the numbers don't back it up. Executives thought, "Hey, we invested more money in this and we gained a ton back. We should invest more!" and it ended up failing. With a $63 million dollar budget, the movie only gained $53 million in the U.S. It made up for the revenue internationally, but we'll focus on domestic for now. This flop would be the steady decline of the rest of the franchise.
In its last installment, released on September 20th, it garnered $40 million dollars domestically. You would think with a $50 million dollar budget they'd at least be able to bring audiences back to the theater with a familiar action icon. That proved wrong. Just like with Arnold and the Terminator franchise, Rambo needs to be put out to pasture. Action junkies will always have their need for adrenaline in these movies, but as movies evolve, so do theatrical preferences.
Gone are the days that we can bring back these characters and put them in crazier scenarios. We are at a point that the only thing that would satisfy our needs for these movies is for Rambo to hunt down a nuclear missile and disarm it with another nuclear missile that is clear across the world by blowing up a space facility with a machine gun that has unlimited ammo. Even at that point, the story would be so ridiculous that you wouldn't even stream it illegally.
Stallone, just like Arnold, has had an amazing career. We shouldn't keep asking him for these kinds of movies. It takes a lot of him and his family. Let's let him live his life in peace instead of forcing him to make a mediocre movie that ends up being forgotten along with his legacy.