Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro are two of the most championed fighters in Hollywood history, starring in 1970s and ’80s boxing pics “Rocky” to Martin Scorsese’s “Raging Bull,” but this year, the duo have struggled mightily at the box office.
“Grudge Match,” which opened Christmas day and stars the veteran actors, finished in 11th place on Friday at the box office with $2.4 million and is expected to earn just $13 million through Sunday.
Warner Bros.-based producer Bill Gerber had hoped that “Grudge Match” will offer a parallel box office success story to the 2008 hit “Grand Torino,” which starred Clint Eastwood and went on to gross $270 million worldwide. But so far, “Grudge Match” has been a swing and a miss financially.
Made for $40 million, “Grudge Match” still has plenty of time to find older audiences but the boxing comedy wraps an otherwise forgettable year for Stallone and De Niro at the box office.
“Bullet to the Head,” Stallone’s recent action film (also distribtued by Warner Bros.), was one of the biggest underachievers of 2013, earning just $9.4 million worldwide on a $55 million budget.
Meanwhile, Lionsgate’s “The Big Wedding,” co-starring De Niro and Diane Keaton, only generated $21 million this past year, falling well short of its $35 million budget.
But given their track records, the actors will likely bounce back in 2014.
Stallone will release another “Expendables” movie in August while De Niro has several projects on the horizon, including a new comedy “The Intern” co-starring Reese Witherspoon.