Arnold Schwarzenegger blames Bill Clinton for one of his biggest box office bombs

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 1993 movie “Last Action Hero” was a major disappointment at the box office.
  • The movie had negative press and horrible test scores.
  • But Schwarzenegger believes the election of Bill Clinton that same year also led to the movie’s demise.


It was 1993 when Arnold Schwarzenegger came out with one of his most unique tough guy movies, “Last Action Hero.”

A mix of action and comedy that follows a boy with a magic ticket, who suddenly is transported through the big screen and into the latest movie of his favourite actor, Jack Slater (Arnold Schwarzenegger), it’s filled with huge fight scenes, gun fights, explosions, and fun jabs at Schwarzenegger and the action movie genre.

But nobody went to see the movie.

With a 37% Rotten Tomatoes rating and a $US137 million worldwide gross (which doesn’t even crack the top ten for that year), the movie was considered a colossal disappointment.

However, looking back on it now, Schwarzenegger believes there were a lot of forces against him around the time the movie came out.

“Don’t forget that the year that movie came out it was the year to beat on Arnold,” Schwarzenegger told Business Insider

Before the movie opened the Hollywood trades had constant coverage of its shaky production, which finished just months before it opened in theatres, along with reports on the movie getting negative test scores.

Bill ClintonWikimedia CommonsBill Clinton was elected president in 1993.

But Schwarzenegger feels even the newly-elected president, Bill Clinton, had something to do with the movie’s poor performance.

“It was one of those things where President Clinton was elected and the press somehow made the whole thing kind of political where they thought, ‘OK, the ’80s action guys are gone here’s a perfect example,’ and they wrote this narrative before anyone saw the movie,” Schwarzenegger said, while promoting his new movie “Killing Gunther” (currently available on streaming and in theatres Friday).

Schwarzenegger, who is a Republican and former governor of California, felt that the combination of bad press surrounding the movie and the entrance of a Democrat into the White House led to a situation where he couldn’t win.

“The action hero era is over, Bill Clinton is in, the highbrow movies are the ‘in’ thing now, I couldn’t recuperate,” he said.

He did though — a year later. Teaming with his “Terminator” movies director James Cameron, they made the spy action movie “True Lies,” which earned over $US378 million worldwide and was the third-highest-grossing domestic release of the year.

And as the years have passed, “Last Action Hero” has been rediscovered by new audiences.

“I think more people would have seen it if the press treated it differently, but now the good thing is that with streaming people can go and watch it,” Schwarzenegger said.

You can rent “Last Action Hero” for $US4 on iTunes now! 

Watch the trailer below:

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