Even Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone aren't good enough to get Australian cinemagoer bums in seats it would seem.
Hopscotch Films have reportedly shelved plans to theatrically release the $50 million Arnie-Sly team-up action thriller "Escape Plan" in Australia. The title will now go direct-to-disc.
'Escape' fizzled upon release at the U.S. domestic box-office with just $23 million, but has done quite well overseas with a $78 million haul outside North America.
In Australia, both "The Expendables" movies and Arnie's recent "The Last Stand" were solid performers, making the choice all the more perplexing. Fans are understandably unhappy, flooding Hopscotch's Facebook page with complaints.
Hopscotch themselves haven't confirmed it on their social media outlets, though at least two cinema chains have confirmed the pulling of the film which was to score a release on November 28th.
More than ever, films that don't perform well overseas are bypassing theatrical releases here in Australia as local distributors embrace the premium VOD model and skip costly theatrical releases for films they don't expect to perform.
In recent times, titles that were slated to go theatrical and then pulled to go straight to disc & VOD include the likes of "The Purge," "The Cold Light of Day," "Parkland," "Premium Rush," "Byzantium," "Wanderlust," "Big Miracle," "Welcome to the Punch," "Chasing Mavericks," "Butter," "Stand Up Guys," "Deadfall" and "Starbuck". "Cabin in the Woods" was famously set to be pulled until a last minute outcry saw it score a limited theatrical run.