Piling on more bad news, King Arthur was beat in the U.S.by Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn's Snatched in a surprise upset. The mega-budget franchise starter from Warner Bros., Village Roadshow, and RatPac-Dune, suffered poor reviews and opened with only $14.7 million this weekend, which will reportedly end up at around $40 million in domestic gross totals. As part of the advertising ploy, King Arthur had three trailers, TV spots across the world, an online game, and a Snapchat campaign.
Director Guy Ritchie of Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels fame is at the helm of this retelling of the classic story. Warner Bros. distributed the film. Unless it manages to get a major boost in the coming weeks, whether from domestic or global sales, there's no way it will make back its budget.
Charlie plays the title character in Guy's latest film, King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword, which follows Arthur as he discovers his capabilities after he draws the sword from the stone. He's certainly no Robert Downey Jr.
Movies tend to make by far their biggest box office earnings in their opening weekend, often dropping by 50 percent the following week, meaning the revisionist saga directed by Guy Ritchie, 48, is doomed to be one of the flops of the year. A tad below the low $20 million mark that Fox had forecast, and well under the $30 million debut of her 2015 hit Trainwreck.
It has the DC superhero films, the "LEGO" movies, and the recently revived Harry Potter universe movies (relaunched last fall with "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them"), but not much else.
This new versionof the King Arthur tale, is an iconoclastic take on the Excalibur myth, tracing Arthur's journey from the streets to the throne. Over the past eight years, Warners had several competing Arthur projects in development until Ritchie's won out. If I told you a few weeks ago that a Bollywood film that had a 167 minute running time and never play in more than 425 theaters would outgross a film starring Tom Hanks and Emma Watson, would you have believed me?
The campaign drives online traffic to a VisitBritain King Arthur: Legend of the Sword site on visitbritain.com filled with information on British locations from the film and King Arthur-inspired holiday experiences available in 13 languages.
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