‘King Arthur’ First Summer Bomb? $175M Film Tracking for $25M Debut

Warner Bros/Village Roadshow

The summer box office season kicked off with a bang last weekend as Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 rocketed to a $146 million opening, but Hollywood could see its first big bomb of the season this weekend as Warner Bros.’ expensive tentpole King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is projected to open in the $25 million range.

Arthur, directed by Guy Ritchie (Sherlock Holmes, Snatch) and starring Charlie Hunnam and Jude Law, reportedly cost Warner Bros. and production partner Village Roadshow $175 million to produce, according to the Hollywood Reporter. That number doesn’t count the studio’s marketing spend, which likely puts the final figure closer to $200 million.

But Arthur is reportedly tracking to earn in the $25 million range when it premieres on more than 3,600 screens on May 12.

That won’t be nearly enough to knock Guardians from the top spot. The James Gunn-directed superhero sequel starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista and Bradley Cooper is projected to remain number one this weekend with a $60 million second frame, which would add to its already hefty global gross of $494 million.

King Arthur — which currently sits at a dismal 22 percent on ratings aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes — will need to make up ground overseas if it is to turn a profit for Warners and Village Roadshow.

Meanwhile, the box office likely won’t get much help from the weekend’s other wide-release newcomer, the Amy Schumer-Goldie Hawn mother-daughter kidnap caper Snatched.

Snatched is projected to debut in the mid-teen millions range for Fox and Chernin Entertainment. The Jonathan Levine-directed comedy — which reportedly cost $42 million to produce — hopes to benefit from a Mother’s Day weekend release and the return of Hawn after a 15-year absence from the big screen, but early reviews of the film have been highly negative, with critics singling out Hawn’s underwhelming performance and the film’s subtly racist undertones.

Also opening this weekend is Amazon/Roadside Attractions’ Iraq War psychological thriller The Wall, directed by Doug Liman and starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson and John Cena, sci-fi comedy Absolutely Anything with Simon Pegg and the Monty Python crew, and the indie drama Lowriders starring Melissa Beniost and Eva Longoria.


Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum


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