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Arnold Schwarzenegger's 'Last Stand' Bombs: Why Didn't Audiences See His Comeback?

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Jan 21, 2013 | 12:55pm EST

Arnold Schwarzenegger's Last Stand Bomb

All eyes were on the box office this weekend and not just because Jessica Chastain was expected to take the top two spots on the chart. Another marquis name, “Governator” Arnold Schwarzenegger, was set to make his much-discussed return to multiplexes with his comeback role in the action film The Last Stand.

The film was expected to debut with a gross in the low teens and instead eked out a 10th place ranking with just $7.215 million for the four days of the Martin Luther King holiday weekend. This was certainly a reality check for the once invincible action star — despite some notable missteps (remember Last Action Hero?), the actor was a darn reliable draw.

RELATED: Jessica Chastain Delivers One-Two Punch with 'Mama' and 'Zero Dark Thirty'

Of course, to be fair to Arnold, the failure of The Last Stand to ignite big dollars at the box office may have been a function of the plethora of R-rated action movies in the marketplace this weekend, which were all chasing the same male audience. With no fewer than four other such films vying for virtually the same audience’s attention (including Zero Dark Thirty, Gangster Squad, Broken City, which debuted at No. 6 this weekend, and Django Unchained), it’s no wonder that Schwarzenegger and Wahlberg both had trouble finding success in their bread and butter genres.

Adding to those practical issues are the more nebulous factors which include the difficulty Arnold now has with female fans that have found his personal life distasteful at best, compounded by his 10-year absence from movie screens. Mix all the factors in together, and you have a recipe for box office disaster.

RELATED: Can Arnold Schwarzenegger's 'Last Stand' Stand Against 'Zero Dark Thirty'?

So is The Last Stand Arnold Schwarzenegger’s last stand as an action star? With seven movies either in pre-production or recently announced (including Terminator 5 rumored for a future date), we will reserve that judgment for another day.

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER'S TOP OPENING WEEKENDS

1. TERMINATOR 3: RISE OF THE MACHINES

3-Day Opening: $44,041,440

Domestic Gross: $150,358,296

Release Date: Wed, 7/2/03

2. BATMAN AND ROBIN

3-Day Opening: $42,872,605

Domestic Gross: $107,285,004

Release Date: Fri, 6/20/97

3. THE EXPENDABLES (UNCREDITED)

3-Day Opening: $34,825,135

Domestic Gross: $102,981,571

Release Date: Fri, 8/13/10

RELATED: 'The Last Stand' Injuries: Schwarzenegger's Head Wound, Knoxville's Broken Penis — VIDEO

4. TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY

3- Day Opening: $31,765,506

Domestic Gross: $204,859,496

Release Date: Wed, 7/3/91

5. THE EXPENDABLES 2

3-Day Opening: $28,591,370

Domestic Gross: $85,028,192

Release Date: Fri, 8/17/12

6. TRUE LIES

3-Day Opening: $25,869,770

Domestic Gross: $146,282,411

Release Date: Fri, 7/15/94

7. TOTAL RECALL

3-Day Opening: $25,577,758

Domestic Gross: $58,877,969

Release Date: Fri, 8/3/12

8. ERASER

3-Day Opening: $24,566,446

Domestic Gross: $101,295,562

Release Date: Fri, 6/21/96

9. END OF DAYS

3-Day Opening: $20,523,595

Domestic Gross: $66,862,068

Release Date: Wed, 11/24/99

10. THE RUNDOWN (UNCREDITED)

3-Day Opening: $18,533,765

Domestic Gross: $47,611,425

Release Date: Fri, 9/26/03

11. LAST ACTION HERO

3-Day Opening: $15,338,241

Domestic Gross: $50,016,392

Release Date: Fri, 6/18/93

[Image Credit: Lionsgate]


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