One of the more interesting stories at the box-office over the weekend was the inept performance of 12 Rounds, the new action pic staring WWE wrestling star John Cena. The film, which had a modest 20 million dollar budget, took in a paltry $5.3 mil in its opening frame and is destined to do a quick fade from multiplexes. Considering this is even less than Cena’s first screen outing in “The Marine”, its safe to say he won’t be the next Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson, at least as far as a career in movies is concerned.
In his defense, even wrestling fans won’t pay to see B-movie fare when they know they can see it on DVD a few months down the road. Or maybe it’s safe to say that Cena is no Roddy Piper. Piper never really got a movie career going after starring in John Carpenter’s cult classic “They Live” in 1988. He has, however, appeared in his fair share of direct to DVD films, with 1995’s “Jungle Ground” being the best of those. “They Live” will undergo the Hollywood remake treatment – “The Marine” or “12 Rounds” will never have that privilege.
One has to wonder if Vince McMahon might put his WWE film enterprise on the back burner, as its safe to say there’s not much interest, even from his core audience of wrestling fans. You simply can’t fit a square peg in a round hole, or make a wrestler a movie star. Guess Cena better keep those wrestling skills sharp as it now appears he will need them.