Sylvester Stallone said recently that he knew why The Expendables 3 didn't fare so well at the box office, and that it won't happen again.
The action star told Crave Online that the film's violence was toned down quite a bit in order to give it a PG-13 rating, which took a toll on the numbers at the box office. In an effort to reach a wider--and younger--audience, the rating change inadvertently pushed fans of the franchise away. However, Stallone says they can look forward to deleted scenes and uncut material making its way to the DVD and Blu-ray, which will be released soon.
"Absolutely, unequivocally yes. I believe it was a horrible miscalculation on everyone’s part in trying to reach a wider audience, but in doing such, diminish the violence that the audience expects. I’m quite certain it won’t happen again," he said.
Stallone also talked about the next film in the series--which has been rumored to involve time-travel so that the Expendables are transported to WWII--and gave some insight into why the main characters aren't so, well, expendable.
"This is a big conflict for me because in an R-rated film it is difficult to believe that none of the heroes die. I personally just believe that the characters become identifiable and their demise could put a dark cloud over an audience exiting the theatre after seeing the film. But that may change in Expendables 4…I have actually entertained the idea of putting the group into such an unnatural environment that it, in an of itself, creates extra suspense and tension: the “fish out of water” scenario. That environment might not be time travel, but nearly just as jarring," he said.
It's difficult to say where the fourth film will take the group, but Stallone is adamant about solving the issues that the third movie had. The Expendables and The Expendables 2 brought in $103 million and $85 million domestically, while the latest installment made only $39 million despite the addition of UFC fighter Ronda Rousey.