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King Arthur: Legend of the Sword bombs in US as Guardians 2 remains on top

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

Story by Jack Foley

GUY Ritchie’s big-budget take on King Arthur, dubbed King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, has bombed on its US debut, taking just $14.7 million despite costing $175 million to make before marketing.

The figure means that the film, starring Charlie Hunnam and Jude Law, has the indignity of becoming the first big bomb of the summer of 2017. But worse, it also suffered one of the worst openings ever for a big-budget studio event film.

Internationally, the news wasn’t much better, meaning that the epic could now be facing a loss of well north of $100 million.

King Arthur only opened in third spot, behind another new entry… the female-driven action-comedy Snatched, which pairs Amy Schumer with Goldie Hawn. For the latter, it marks her first big screen appearance in 15 years.

Snatched, which follows a mother and daughter who find themselves trying to escape after being abducted on vacation in Ecuador, opened to $17.5 million – which is a decent return for a film that only cost $42 million to make. It’s also an R-rated movie too.

Welcoming those figures, Chris Aronson, Fox’s president of domestic distribution, commented: “Teaming an edgy comedian with a comedian who is America’s sweetheart is like the consummate political ticket that makes sure all of your constituents are served.”

With Snatched lying in second and King Arthur third, it left Disney and Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2 to lay claim to the US top spot for a third consecutive weekend.

James Gunn’s superheroes took another meaty $63 million to hit $246.2 million in the US alone. Overseas, it’s also now reached $384.4 million for a global haul of $630.6 million, including $80.5 million in China.

Indeed, Guardians‘ US Friday take of $16.4 million was still enough to beat the entire opening weekend figure of King Arthur, as if to rub further salt into Ritchie’s wounds.

Commenting on King Arthur‘s failure to perform, Warner Bros. domestic distribution chief Jeff Goldstein said: “The concept didn’t resonate with a broad audience, and we’re disappointed. We had higher hopes.”

Ritchie’s dark revisionist take on the Arthurian legend isn’t the first time Warner Bros has unsuccessfully attempted to revive a classic tale. Pan and Jack The Giant Slayer both opened badly.

Rounding out the top five in the US were Fast & Furious 8, holding on in fourth with $5.3 million (for a $215 million US total) and animated hit The Boss Baby, which lay fifth with $4.6 million ($162.4m in total).

Next story: Kristin Scott Thomas to star in Paramour