In past months of May, we've been treated to weekend after weekend of major blockbusters, record breakers, powerhouse franchises. In 2017, May kind of takes a break to catch its breath after one week, as films duck out of the way of Guardians' second week.
Weekend Forecast for May 12-14, 2017
By Reagen Sulewski
May 12, 2017
It's not totally as if studios aren't trying, as the lead film of this week is on a familiar story by a director who's had reasonable amounts of success in the past, and actors who in theory could draw people into a theater. It's just, well, the actual product that's being sent out screams of desperation. King Arthur is approximately the 673rd version of the story to hit the big screen, though the most recent big budget version was back in 2004 and starred Clive Owen, back when we thought he might still be a thing.
This version stars 2017's version of “oh, *he's* going to be a thing,” Charlie Hunnam, as the title character, a street version of Arthur robbed of his identity and title by his uncle, the previous-previous version of “thing,” Jude Law, until he pulls Excalibur from the stone and claims his right to rule England. Lending his trademark overcranked vision to this is Guy Ritchie, who's moved on from his hard-scrabble crime caper films to... hard-scrabble fantasy films? I suppose that could work? The MTV-style of filmmaking (even if that seems sort of anachronistic these days – is there a music video aesthetic anymore?) seems like a weird choice for this genre of film, where audiences expect a little more straightforward presentation, though films like Dracula Untold have made this sort of thing work to some degree.
Of course, anything is forgiven in film if it works, and a bit of Sherlock Holmesing up of Arthurian legend might be what the doctor ordered, if it's any good. “[Narrator]: It was not.” Reviews are generally savaging this one, and Ritchie seems to be one of those directors that we've all essentially decided to turn our backs on, like M. Night Shyalaman pre-his recent resurgence. That's the problem with having such a recognized shtick – once that gets tired out, it's hard to make something else. Perhaps the total swerve he's about to do for Aladdin will do the trick, but this is one of those “no thanks, we're good” situations. There's at least a basement for competent action-adventure in summer, so this should hit around $20 million this weekend, with international business being what really drives it into anything approaching success.
It's a bit hard to believe, but Snatched is really only Amy Schumer's second feature film – for someone who's been so ubiquitous in the public sphere in the last few years, there been very few opportunities for people to pay her for doing an entertainment. Her debut film, 2015's Trainwreck, was a solid success at $110 million domestic despite being unconscionably long for a relationship comedy. Snatched, a film that teams her up with comedy legend Goldie Hawn (essentially pulled out of retirement – this is her first work since 2002's The Banger Sisters) in mother-daughter adventure (I wonder who had the awkward talk with Kate Hudson), does... not look like it will match that total.
After breaking up with her boyfriend right before she's about to take a non-refundable vacation to Ecuador, Schumer's character invites her overly-cautious mother along for the trip and oh, does hilarity ensue! Because foreigners are scary and gross! While there's a germ of an idea here in the right hands, and while both Schumer and Hawn can be sidesplittlingly hilarious in the right contexts, there's little evidence of this here, and the ads are dreary and painfully unfunny. It remains the toughest sell in the business – films can fail at many things and still be watchable, but an unfunny comedy is nearly impossible to enjoy on any level. While Snatched doesn't have the worst reviews ever, they're bad enough, and the fame of its two leads probably can't save it. Look for just $14 million this weekend.
It was of course, never in doubt, but Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 gets another weekend at the top of the charts to itself, despite the incoming weekend drop. After opening to $146 million, it's established its staying power as a franchise and legitimizing weirdness as a comic-book movie aesthetic, which I'm generally in support of (though not always specifically). Look for this to fall to about $71 million this weekend, on its way to about $400 million domestic.
And... that's about it, as the typical flight from May's blockbusters have left the bench pretty empty, with only The Fate of the Furious having much of a chance of breaking $5 million this weekend, and the two-months'-old Beauty and the Beast still hanging around maybe in the top five.