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Box office hits and misses: ‘King Arthur’ might be the summer’s first major flop

Charlie Hunnam in King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.
It was another huge weekend for Marvel Studios sequel Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but it’s not the big winner that everyone’s talking about as the final box-office numbers begin rolling in. That honor — or lack thereof — goes to the underachieving pretender to the throne, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.

Intended to be the start of a new franchise for Warner Bros. Pictures, director Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur tallied just $14.7 million in U.S. theaters and $43.8 million worldwide in its opening weekend, falling well short of the sort of debut that’s expected from a movie that cost $175 million to make. The film’s “B+” grade from CinemaScore, which surveys audiences on the film after screenings, and a disappointing 27-percent “Fresh” rating on professional review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes certainly doesn’t help the case for King Arthur, which has now opened in most of the major markets, so it can’t expect much help from overseas crowds.

As for the rest of the weekend’s top ten movies, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continued its run at becoming one of the biggest sequels in Marvel’s cinematic universe so far, adding another $63 million domestically and bringing its worldwide ticket sales past $630 million. It’s already doing better than Iron Man 2 and Thor: The Dark World from week to week, and doesn’t appear to be losing much steam.

# Title Weekend U.S. Total Worldwide Total
1. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 $63M $246.1M $630.5M
2. Snatched $17.5M $17.5M $20.7M
3. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword $14.7M $14.7M $43.8M
4. The Fate of the Furious $5.3M $215M $1.1B
5. The Boss Baby $4.6M $162.3M $456.4M
6. Beauty and the Beast $3.8M $493.1M $1.2B
7. How to be a Latin Lover $3.7M $26.1M $26.1M
8. Lowriders $2.4M $2.4M $2.4M
9. The Circle $1.7M $18.9M $18.9M
10. Baahubali 2: The Conclusion $1.5M $18.9M $18.9M

Although it didn’t do as well as Trainwreck for star Amy Schumer, this weekend’s Snatched did just about as well as pundits predicted, both critically and commercially. The film, which follows a mother and daughter who are kidnapped while vacationing, earned slightly more negative reviews and significantly less money than Trainwreck in its opening weekend, but it doesn’t face much competition for its intended audience over the next few weeks, so it could end up doing fine.

The only other new release to crack the weekend’s top ten films was director Ricardo de Montreuil’s Lowriders, which had an excellent — if somewhat limited — debut in theaters. The drama, which follows a father and his two sons in East Los Angeles, earned $2.4 million from just 295 theaters. The film has a good cast that includes Academy Award nominee Demián Bichir (The Hateful EightA Better Life), Theo Rossi (Sons of AnarchyLuke Cage), Eva Longoria (Desperate Housewives), and Supergirl star Melissa Benoist.

It’s also worth noting that Alien: Covenant made its international debut in several markets over the weekend, and despite earning $42 million before it even hits U.S. theaters, the Prometheus sequel’s overseas premiere was a mixed bag. The film topped the opening weekend for Prometheus in some markets and fell short of it in others, so it’s anyone’s guess at this point how it will perform when it arrives in U.S. theaters later this week.

The only other new releases of note this upcoming weekend are the young-adult drama Everything, Everything and the family-friendly sequel Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul — although neither are expected to make much of a dent in the top half of the box-office chart.

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Rick Marshall
A veteran journalist with more than two decades of experience covering local and national news, arts and entertainment, and…
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