EXCLUSIVE: In one of the greatest assemblages of international star power — and muscle — that Cannes has ever seen, a baker’s dozen of Expendables 3 castmembers are set to hit town on Sunday, May 18 for a full day of events. Attending are Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford, Wesley Snipes, Antonio Banderas, Dolph Lundgren, Kelsey Grammer, Randy Couture, Kellan Lutz, Victor Ortiz and Glen Powell, along with director Patrick Hughes. Millennium Films president Mark Gill tells me the day will start with a screening of footage from the movie, followed by the action brigade arriving at the Carlton Hotel for a press conference and photo call. How will they get there? Why, in tanks of course! Millennium, which is organizing the testosterone fest, is seeing that a stretch of the Croisette is shut down to accommodate the armored vehicles. At the Carlton, it’s also bought banners representing each of the characters which will adorn the façade. Later that evening, there will be a big soirée at the Palm Beach nightclub.
Cannes is habitually used as a platform to launch and promote Hollywood movies off the red carpet, but in recent years the studios have cut back on some of the excesses of yore. Gill allows that the cost that comes with staging such an event isn’t negligable, but says, “For a 30-second TV spot in America, you spend just as much.” Cannes is, “for better or for worse, the place where the whole world is watching for 10 days.” Coming to the third movie in the franchise, the event will also highlight that the collection of actors is bigger than ever before. “We need to find a way to differentiate apart from telling different stories.” Indeed, because of the way the movies are made, and with schedules so tight, this is the first time all of the actors will be together.
In terms of worldwide media coverage, Cannes brings strong value. Expendables 2 made $305M globally, more than $220M of that from international and the thinking goes that this one could perform even better when it begins rolling out August 13. In the meantime, we’ll check out the scene when this goes down on the Croisette next week. Cannes is no stranger to stunts, but this one could take the (beef)cake.