Last Weekend's Guardians Climax Makes Box Office Sleepy
By John Hamann
May 14, 2017
Second goes to Snatched, as Amy Schumer returns to work after Trainwreck, the 2015 film that earned $141 million worldwide, and Goldie Hawn returns for the first time since 2002's The Banger Sisters. Snatched was better advertised in the winter than now, as Fox became more and more aware it had a huge turkey on its hands. Snatched opened to previews at a dreadful $650,000, and probably hoped things would pick up on the weekend. The combined Thursday/Friday was $5 million, a planet away from Trainwreck's $10.3 million, and what has to be a huge disappointment for Fox and Schumer, whose light has dimmed in the time since Trainwreck (Ames, you waited this long and then made this piece of crap?). The likelihood of a weekend date lift or even Mother's Day was pretty dim.
Over the weekend, Snatched found $17.5 million, disappointing considering the 3,501 venue count, or about 400 more than Trainwreck, which earned $30.1 million over its first three days. The soft marketing led to terrible reviews (36% fresh) and a low Cinemascore, which came in at a B. In 2015, it was Hot Pursuit with Reese WItherspoon and Sophie Vergara earning a low $14 million over opening weekend. Last year, it was Money Monster, with George Clooney and Julia Roberts - it opened to a low $14.8 million, making this weekend a questionable bet for female-focused films going forward. Snatched cost $42 million to make, so after all is said and done, it will be fine. Still, if I was at Fox, I wouldn't be happy with this result.
Our first mega flop of the season, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, performs terribly during its opening frame. King Arthur: Let's Make Up A Subtitle stumbled out of the gate with its Thursday preview, earning an embarrassing $1.2 million, which killed any hope of a domestic success - it was that low. The combined Thursday/Friday was a slightly better $5.3 million, which meant the Warner Bros. actioner would likely not even reach $15 million over opening weekend, and would throw under the $16.5 million A Knight's Tale opened to over the same weekend in 2001. Yes, 16 years ago, Heath Ledger led a rag tag cast to the second spot on the box office charts, behind The Mummy Returns (it is a summer of repeats, as we will see Tom Cruise in The Mummy soon). So, death has come again to King Arthur, and the only question now will be how low can it go.
Warner Bros. Spent a massive $175 million on this version of the Arthurian legend, but the legend wasn't followed in the film. This may have put viewers off, and the weekend total came in at disastrous $14.7 million from 3,702 venues. With it going that wide, and the massive domestic media campaign behind it (how much did all those test screenings cost?), the advertising expense must have been phenomenal. Critics hated Arthur, giving it a 27% fresh rating. Top critics (aka movie reviewers that actually get read) were even more harsh, handing the film a 17% score. We have learned from recent summers that audiences are not as dim as they used to be. The Mummy Returns with its 47% rating would likely not open to the heights it did in 2001 compared to today, because word-of-mouth spreads that much quicker. The Cinemascore was at least decent, though, coming in with B+. King Arthur will not become a franchise, and now director Guy Ritchie has two big misses against him, this one and the $75 million Man From U.N.C.L.E., which flopped in 20125, earning $110 million worldwide.