Franchise movie-making is a big focus at every major studio. Offering audiences characters they are familiar with is proven to be successful, but one of the difficulties that comes with that is knowing when it’s time to end a franchise. The director of the newest Expendables movie is far from certain this will be the end for Sylvester Stallone and company, and he uses another big action franchise, John Wick, as an example.
Considering that it took quite some time for Expend4bles to get off the ground, franchise fans likely thought that the series had ended with Expendables 3. And yet, the fourth movie did finally happen. It would be easy to assume that this will be the end for the series, but Expend4bles director Scott Waugh tells THR that no franchise is ever truly done if the fans and the studio want more. Just look at the current state of the John Wick franchise. He explained…
Waugh certainly has a point. John Wick: Chapter 4’s ending would seemingly put a clear end to the franchise, and yet, things don’t seem quite that cut and dried. Lionsgate has made noise about John Wick: Chapter 5 happening after all, and while it’s not clear it will happen, the fact that the new film had the best box office return in the series is certainly not going unnoticed.
Of course, that’s exactly why we have to wonder if Expend4bles is the end, even if it wasn’t specifically planned to be. Expend4bles didn’t have the greatest box office opening. In fact, it was the worst the franchise has seen, which would seem to indicate that the audience is not that interested in a fifth movie, and thus the studio will certainly be less interested as well.
Of course, the complication that potentially arrives when a franchise meets its end at the box office is that it can lead to an unsatisfying end in the story. If the franchise didn’t know it was over until the box office struggled, the story may have been left on a cliffhanger or some other place where it doesn’t seem right to end things.
Whether we see any more John Wick movies or any more Expendables movies is impossible to guess right now. Franchise sequels and reboots are now commonly happening years after a series has seemingly run its course, so only time will tell.