Movies In Focus was tough on Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword from the start. Ritchie’s style was never suited to this type of film and star Charlie Hunnam just isn’t leading man material. Ritchie barely managed to make his Sherlock Holmes movies work – and they had Robert Downey Jr doing the heavy-lifting (interesting to note both Arthur and Holmes have Jude Law in supporting roles). It seemed crazy (and stupid) to think Warner Bros. was talking this pic up as the launchpad for a new 6-part franchise. However, Hollywood likes to dream big, so we won’t be too harsh on them for that.
Reshoots, re-edits and release date moves show there was trouble behind the scenes for this $175 million pic throughout production. The usually spot-on Warner Bros. marketing team dropped the ball on selling this calamity (the David Beckham clip was a serious no-no) and the film sort of limped towards a release.
Then the reviews came in – and they were bad.
Warner Bros (and partner Village Roadshow) must have been hoping this costly flick would open, so they could claw back some dough – but a $14.4 million opening is disastrous. There’s always international grosses of course, but this is going to be a big bomb for all involved.
Warner Bros will pin their summer box office dreams on Wonder Woman, Ritchie will move to direct Disney’s live action Aladdin and Jude Law will satisfy his franchise cravings by playing Dumbledore in the Fantastic Beasts movies. But it’s Charlie Hunnam who might take the heat for this disaster – remember Taylor Kitsch circa 2012?