Is there a correlation between Sylvester Stallone’s and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s recent box office flops and their decision to label the Second Amendment “expendable?”
The answer could become clearer when a film starring a third iconic action star, Bruce Willis, opens next week.
In contrast to Stallone and Schwarzenegger, Willis, starring in “It’s a Good Day to Die Hard,” has come out in defense of the right to bear arms as Democrats in Washington propose unprecedented restrictions on guns.
Stallone, Schwarzenegger and Willis, three of the biggest Hollywood stars of all-time, owe much of their box office success to action characters who brandish firearms.
They came together in the 2010 “Expendables” and the 2012 “Expendables 2,” movies which served as a nostalgic, campy homage to their respective Rambo, Die Hard and Terminator past.
However, Stallone and Schwarzenegger have each made a point of advocating gun-control legislation as they promote their latest films.
While pitching “The Last Stand,” Schwarzenegger took on dismissed criticism of the impact of gun violence in films while asserting “no stone should be unturned” when it comes to addressing the problem.
“I personally feel that this is entertainment,” said Schwarzenegger. “The other thing is a serious real life tragedy. I think that we are going to continue doing entertainment. That is what we are doing as our profession, but at the same time, we all have a responsibility, I think, to improve the situation that we are in.”
Schwarzenegger said it’s important not to stigmatize mental illnesses. He also cited parenting, education, security and gun laws as contributing factors to gun violence.
“We as a society have the responsibility to look at this and leave no stone unturned,” he said.
How did “The Last Stand” do at the box office opening weekend? With a production budget of $45 million, it made $6 million. Debuting Jan. 18, it brought in just $11 million domestically.
As for Stallone, in his promotion of the action film “Bullet to the Head” he came out strongly in favor of gun restrictions:
He says that despite his “Rambo” image and new shoot-em-up film, he’s in favor of new national gun control legislation.
Stallone supported the 1994 Brady bill that included a now-expired ban on assault weapons and hopes the ban can be reinstated.
“I know people get (upset) and go, `They’re going to take away the assault weapon.’ Who … needs an assault weapon? Like really, unless you’re carrying out an assault. … You can’t hunt with it. … Who’s going to attack your house, a (expletive) army?”
See an Associated Press interview with Willis:
How did “Bullet to the Head” do at the box office its opening weekend? It misfired, bringing in a paltry $4.5 million. Since its release Feb. 1, it’s only made a total of $4.9 million.
By comparison, “Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot!” – a Stallone comedy from 1992 – made $7 million its opening weekend
Willis, who is set to star in the fifth installment of the “Die Hard” franchise, “A Good Day to Die Hard,” had a much different take on the Second Amendment and gun rights than his “Expendables” co-stars.
He opposes new gun control laws that could infringe on Second Amendment rights.
“I think that you can’t start to pick apart anything out of the Bill of Rights without thinking that it’s all going to become undone,” he said.
”If you take one out or change one law, then why wouldn’t they take all your rights away from you?”