I almost went to see The Expendables 2 then changed my mind at the last minute and decided to wait for the DVD. The main appeal is all these big action stars and even bigger egos in one pic. And that got me thinking about action stars/movies and how much $$$ they generate for studios. The amount is staggering- actually it is rather surreal. Collectively the actors in this film have made a lot of movies over the years, some good, some bad, and some better than average that showcase their actual acting chops and not just their pecs. So I have pulled out some of my fave movies featuring some but not all of the stars.
Sylvester Stallone- Rocky of course, but only the first and possibly the 2nd. It tends to gets dismissed too easily because the series got steadily worse as it progressed from 1 through 5, but there is no denying how really good the original is. Especially given that Stallone wrote, directed and starred in it all because he needed work and was having trouble finding anything so decided to write himself a part.
Jason Statham- The Italian Job is a very solid heist movie, as is The Bank Job.
Jet Li- I'll go with Hero and Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
Dolph Lundgren- sorry Dolph, just couldn't find one
Chuck Norris-his hugely popular Walker Texas Ranger television series
Jean-Claude Van Damme is another tough one. I know this is a cheat but the Muscles from Brussels is at his best as a voice in Kung Fu Panda 2
Arnold Schwarzenegger-what to write about Arnold that hasn't already been written? We all know The Terminator franchise, but I think True Lies is his best. He also has a new autobiography modestly titled Total recall : my unbelievably true life story
Bruce Willis- now Bruce I can really get into. Of all of these guys he is easily the most talented and versatile. I remain a big fan of his and recommend any of these---Die Hard 1 2 3 4, 16 Blocks, The Sixth Sense, Hart's War, and my fave-12 Monkeys.
Now that surreal $ amount I mentioned at the beginning? A quick calculation based on IMDB's Box Office figures, not including DVD sales, not adjusted for inflation, and only for the movies I have linked above---almost $4 billion. Would you believe The Die Hard Franchise alone has generated world wide---$1,126,935,581.00!
And incidentally, Expendables 2 is doing well at the Box office and getting some decent reviews. On an estimated budget of $100 million, as of Sept 23rd it has made $264 million. We have the original Expendables, which has gross worldwide sales of $274,470.00. I smell another sequel.