The Last Stand’s US box office failure and the perils of confused marketing

The Last Stand has bombed remarkably at the US box office

Arnold Schwarzenegger is back in cinemas this week with The Last Stand. It’s trademark Arnie with lots of indiscriminate distribution of bullets and witty one-liners.

However, its American opening has been marred by the fact that almost no-one has gone to see it.

The film opened with a paltry $6.3m weekend, entering the box office chart at 10 in what was quite a solid week for cinema figures. As it stands (see what I did), The Last Stand may well struggle to recoup its $30m budget, which would be a huge spanner in the works of Schwarzenegger’s triumphant return to being an action movie leading man.

In my view, this is a result of the incredibly confusing way the distributors have chosen to market The Last Stand through its trailers. They appear to be placing the film somewhere between an action movie, a comedy and a Western, which leads to an almighty genre-based confusion. Some of the marketing pulls towards The Last Stand being Arnie’s triumphant return to action stardom, whereas some parts of the marketing seems to suggest the film is going to be a Johnny Knoxville comedy movie. It isn’t being marketed at any real genre or any real audience and as such is suffering from not really appealing to anyone.

The Last Stand has also not had the greatest ride from critics. After a remarkable early reception – perhaps due to a tank-based press junket – the film’s Rotten Tomatoes score has plummeted, as FilmDrunk illustrate so nicely with this GIF.

Despite initial success, The Last Stand has flopped with audiences and critics

It remains to be seen how The Last Stand will do when it opens in the UK tomorrow, but with Django Unchained marauding its way through the Western market, it could hit similar problems on this side of the Atlantic.

Ah well, the thing with Arnie is that he’ll be back.

Are you looking forward to seeing The Last Stand? Do you think it has been marketed well and, if so, why has it made so little money? Let me know in the comments section.

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