Movies of 1987 Bracket Game: Predator Vs. Robobcop
1987 was a good year for action movies. Already in this bracket game we have seen the genre-defining buddy cop movie, Lethal Weapon. But the year also included The Living Daylights, Beverly Hills Cop II, Stakeout, and The Running Man among others. Today’s contestants blended action with science-fiction to become two of the more enduring movies of the year. It’s Arnold Schwarzenegger in Predator vs. Paul Verhoeven’s Robocop.
But first, let’s take a look at the results of yesterday’s Michael Douglas showdown:
This one was close. Wall Street and Fatal Attraction swapped positions all day long. Frequently, the results were even. But overnight, Wall Street emerged as the winner thus keeping hope alive for a Daryl Hannah-themed final round. That means that either the Predator or Robocop will face Gordon Gecko in round two.
It’s easy to forget that Schwarzenegger wasn’t an especially big star when he made Predator. The Austrian body builder spent the decade of the 80’s slowly overtaking his rival, Rambo star Sylvester Stallone. Predator was another step in Schwarzenegger’s ascent, but with a gross of just under $60 million dollars it wasn’t a blockbuster hit.
Predator benefited from low expectations. It blended action and sci-fi in a way that was unusual at the time. Some critics who usually didn’t like these kinds of movies gave Predator a pass. The movie was successful enough at the box office to spawn sequels although the Predator franchise has yet to duplicate the box office performance of the original.
Writer-director Shane Black played Hawkins in the original movie. He is working on a sequel/reboot which is due in theaters in 2018.
Robocop was an even smaller movie. If audiences knew Peter Weller at all, it was from the cult movie, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension. Director Paul Verhoeven’s only previous American movie was the low-budget Middle Ages movie Flesh and Blood. No one expected much from a movie about a cybernetic cop. But the movie surprised critics and audiences alike with over-the-top violence and biting social satire.
Like Predator, Robocop spawned a franchise that hasn’t been very successful. In addition to two theatrical sequels and a 2014 reboot, Robocop has been featured in two live-action TV series, two cartoons, in addition to video games, toys and comic books. But only Verhoeven’s original movie has endured.
At the box office, Robocop came in right below Predator. They were the eighth and ninth highest-grossing movies of the year sandwiched between The Witches of Eastwick and Outrageous Fortune.
Which sci-fi/action hybrid do you prefer?