Once, they ruled the world. Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Willis. From the mid 80s to mid 90s, they were tops at the box office. They also made countless appearances for Planet Hollywood, where they were all partners. But the pendulum has swung. Last night, Willis’s “A Good Day To Die Hard” placed second on its opening night–Valentine’s Day– to a shmooshy romance vehicle called “Safe Haven.” They are the lowest rated films this week on Rotten Tomatoes– 12% and 11%. They are bad, bad movies but it doesn’t matter. What does matter: Bruce Willis and explosions were toppled by hazy walks on the beach. Ouch!
“Haven” ($8.9 mil) beat “Die Hard” ($8.3 mil) by $600,000– and it was playing in fewer theaters.
Willis follows Stallone and Schwarzenegger into the twilight of action hero status. Stallone’s “Bullet to the Head” has made $8 million, and won’t make it to $20 million. That’s what Stallone used to get for being in his movies. No more. And Arnold? “The Last Stand” is leaving the box office with $12 million in the till. It’s not enough to for a gold plated Humvee.
“Die Hard” 5 will have just this weekend to do something– surprise everyone, maybe, pull ahead of “Safe Haven.” But Willis, unlike the other two, has a lot going for him: he can act, he’s funny, and he can even do theater. He has a lot of possibilities. But more “Die Hard” is not one of them.