Though Guy Ritchie needed three long years to fuse King Arthur: Legend of the Sword together, no amount of time could have stopped his latest theatrical opus from failing right out of the chute.
To no one’s surprise, Marvel Studios enjoyed their second straight weekend atop the box office. Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 slipped 57 percent, as customary with most Marvel releases, to an estimated healthy $63 million this weekend. To date James Gunn’s latest already has earned a stellar $630.6 million worldwide, $242.6 million of which is domestic receipts alone. Gunn’s original installment grossed $763 million lifetime three years ago in retrospect. At this point Marvel Studios is on cruise control but the total gross is noteworthy for Gunn, who is eyeing to cash in his reservation with the Billion Dollar Club.
In a very distant second place was the Amy Schumer/Goldie Hawn vehicle Snatched, totalling $17.5 million. Luckily the Jonathan Levine-directed comedy was made for a mere $42 million, so at least the 20th Century Fox-produced comedy has a better shot at recouping its investment. Schumer, whose first movie Trainwreck debuted to $30 million and led to a lifetime gross of $140 million, stars in just her second starring role. Her star power is more centered in the United States than international, however, and with the summer movie season in full swing you can guarantee Fox is worried they hedged their bets in the wrong place. You know what else probably doesn’t help? Snatched, which drew Goldie Hawn out of retirement, has been universally panned by critics and was marketed with trailers more fitting of a mid-90’s direct-to-DVD comedy.
However, the real story this week is actually Guy Ritchie and his long-awaited King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. Many a critic can point to the hurdles Ritchie had along the way to get his script in front of cameras and marched into screens around the globe. His alternative take on the rise of King Arthur, now raised in the streets and fighting to reclaim the throne from his nefarious uncle all while trying to understand his destiny with Excalibur, brought in a meager $14.5 million. That’s right, read it again. $14.5 million. Now, factor in a production budget of $175 million, along with the insurmountable funding allocated for marketing, and, yep, confirmed, the latest Warner Brothers film is a giant turd. (I can’t word it any better, sorry folks.)
“Flop” may not even be the word. The latest Guy Ritchie flick is the second under-performer in a row, following 2015’s The Man From U.N.C.L.E. starring Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer. The main difference? The 2015 spy thriller, set in the 1960’s with a light and airy vibe that found an audience on home video, was made for a mere $75 million and managed to recoup its budget. King Arthur doesn’t look to make up any ground at all, even on the international fronts. This latest bomb does bring the star status of Charlie Hunnam into question. Though he was immensely popular on FX’s Sons of Anarchy, that same drawing power has yet to present itself on the big screen. Personally, I think the actor can fully recover when he finds the right project. (Maybe he needs to get out of genre material for a spell.)
Up next for Guy Ritchie? Dipping his hands into the world of the DC Cinematic Universe, as least rumor has it. Wonder if Warner Brothers may change their minds? Then again…probably not.
Pulling up the rear in fourth place was Fate of the Furious, adding another $5.3 million to its domestic haul of $215 movie. The latest in the Vin Diesel-starring franchise has already crossed the $1 billion landmark and, believe it or not, is creeping up on the all-time top ten grossing films of all time. Now, I don’t know about any of you out there, but I did not see that one coming.
Thus closes another shockingly mundane weekend in the 2017 summer season. Up next to go toe-to-toe with the latest Marvel feature? Oh, just a little movie called Alien: Covenant. The verdict is still out on the latest from director Ridley Scott, with critics divided. (Half have likened it to his 1979 masterpiece, whilst others are criticizing the film for having a same-stuff, different-day vibe to the plot.) Whoever wins next weekend is a win for fans, with two franchises seeking attention from theater-goers. Until next weekend my friends stay classy, don’t miss any of this week’s must-see season finales (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Supernatural – c’mon now!), and have yourselves a most excellent work week!
1.) Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 – $63 million
2.) Snatched – $17.5 million
3.) King Arthur: Legend of the Sword – $14.7 million
4.) Fate of the Furious – $5.3 million
5.) The Boss Baby – $4.6 million
6.) Beauty and the Beast – $3.9 million
7.) How To Be A Latin Lover – $3.7 million
8.) Lowriders – $2.4 million
9.) The Circle – $1.7 million
10.) Baahubali 2: The Conclusion – $1.6 million