King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword
|Budget: $175 million||Financed by: Warner Bros; Village Roadshow; RatPac-Dune|
|Domestic Gross: $39,175,066||Domestic Distributor: Warner Bros|
|Overseas Gross: Still in release||
Directed by: Guy Ritchie
Produced by: Treasury Secretary Of The United States Steve Mnuchin
Director Guy Ritchie began working on the screenplay for a King Arthur project back in 2010 with writer John Hodge, but Warner Bros pushed that project aside. The studio went with a different iteration of the classic story in 2011 after WB purchased David Dobkin’s spec script Arthur & Lancelot for $2 million. Arthur & Lancelot was first budgeted at $90 million and as costs rose during development, the studio tried to cap the expenses at $110 million, but canceled the film when the budget would hit at least $130 million. In early 2014, while filming WB’s The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Ritchie became attached to a revived King Arthur picture and it was to be the first movie in a six film franchise. It was immediately dated for July 22, 2016.
King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword was co-financed by Warner Bros and Village Roadshow and received additional investment coin from Rat-Pac Dune (Dune was run by billionaire, foreclosure profiteer, scumbag and Trump appointee as Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin). After an early cut screened poorly to test auds, King Arthur was sent back for costly reshoots. In the long studio tradition of throwing mountains of money to fix a problem picture, the budget rose to a reported $175 million. King Arthur then began to shuffle around the release calendar. WB moved it to Feb. 17, 2017 and then pushed it to March 24. Sony then dated the high profile movie Life (which ended up bombing) for the 24th and WB moved King Arthur from that slot and put their worthless comedy CHIPS on that date. King Arthur was moved away from the Alien knockoff Life, only to be dated for May 12 — one week after Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and one week before Alien: Covenant. Regardless, there was probably never an ideal date for this ‘been there, done that’ property.
To help spread word of mouth and drum up audience interest, WB launched a nationwide free screening of the movie on April 27, which they dubbed the promotion “King for a Day.” The free screenings were originally at 150 AMC locations, but 50 additional screenings were added after strong audience interest. Sold out showings for $0 is where the good news ends for King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword. Tracking was pointing to an opening weekend near $25 million, but even that soft number for such an expensive film was in jeopardy when it landed mostly poor reviews.
The film bowed against Snatched and it tanked with just $15,371,270 — placing #3 for the weekend led by Guardians Of The Galaxy 2. Showing weak legs, King Arthur declined 53.5% in its second frame to $7,152,269 and fell 53.9% in its third session to $3,300,544. The domestic run closed with $39,175,066.
The overseas run has mostly concluded, with Spain scheduled for mid August. The offshore cume stands at $104.3 million.
At this rate, King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword will be lucky to reach the catastrophic box office numbers of the $175 million budgeted 47 Ronin (151.7 million worldwide).