Last Friday, we pinpointed Guy Ritchie’s new take on King Arthur: Legend of the Sword as one of the ten movies we least wanted to see this summer, and apparently most of America agrees. Arthur opened in third place over the weekend, mustering a measly $14.7 million over the three-day period. To put that into perspective, that’s less than the $15.1 million opening weekend of Antoine Fuqua’s King Arthur – back in the summer of 2004. Yikes.
This summer’s first flop really has to sting for Warner Brothers, which not only sunk a reported $125 million into the film’s production (plus marketing and so on), but because the studio had planned it as the starting point for a big-time, six-movie franchise. Why, it’s almost as though plotting out entire cinematic universes before you’ve even made a decent first movie is a shitty idea!
And speaking of shitty ideas, it’s not like WB hasn’t been down this road before. Back in 2015, the terrible $150 million Peter Pan riff Pan opened with almost the exact same numbers: third place, with $15.3 million. I’m starting to get the feeling that moviegoers aren’t actually interested in would-be franchise plays in the form of gritty re-imaginings of classics tales, but we should probably wait to see how all the Robin Hood reboots (there are at least three: here, here, and here) do before we really make up our minds on this one.