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Weekend Estimates: Second Place Snatched from King Arthur

May 14th, 2017


King Arthur: Legend of the Sword has proved to be a costly bet gone wrong for Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow. The film had a long gestation period, and ended up costing $175 million to make. Once another $100 million or so of marketing is added in, that makes for a target of at least $550 million at the global box office before anyone starts recouping anything from the film. A domestic opening of $14.7 million, and $29.1 million overseas, makes that a laughably-distant prospect. Adding to the embarrassment, King Arthur will start out in third place, behind Mothers Day-play Snatched, and even that film isn’t doing particularly well, when all is said and done.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 will cruise to a second weekend win, with $63 million predicted by Disney this morning. That takes it to $246 million to date, which is already more than Doctor Strange earned in its entire run, and its 57% decline isn’t much worse than the 55% second-week drop-off seen by Guardians of the Galaxy. Matching the legs of its predecessor over its entire run would be a remarkable achievement (and lead to a total domestic box office around $500 million), and frankly looks extremely unlikely, but $350 million in North America looks a sure bet.

Guardians will also add $52.2 million or so internationally this weekend, per Disney, taking it to $384.4 million overseas, and a global total of $630.6 million. Assuming it continues at a similar pace abroad, the film should end up with around $900 million globally.

Those are the kind of numbers any other studio would kill for right now. Warner Bros. would honestly have been happy with half that for King Arthur. But less than $100 million worldwide (as now seems likely) means a costly write-off for both them and their co-producers Village Roadshow, and highlights the gap between Disney and everyone else right now. That’s not good for the industry, frankly, although the silver lining might be that someone decides to risk some capital on more creative films, rather than ever more desperate attempts at cooker cutter franchises, which is, alas, where King Arthur ended up.

The performance of Snatched this weekend is a bit more encouraging, with $17.5 million from 3,501 theaters. With a reported budget of $42 million, that’s not enough to make the film automatically profitable, but it could earn nicely from the home market, after racking up $50 million or so domestically. That’s a far cry from the $110 million domestic earnings of Trainwreck, though, so the film counts as something of a disappointment.

Elsewhere on the chart this weekend, Lowriders is starting out with about $2.4 million from 295 locations for a hefty average of $8,180 per theater. Once more, a movie aimed at hispanic audiences is doing good business, on a low budget. How to Be a Latin Lover is also still clocking up good numbers, with another $3.75 million this weekend for $26 million in total so far. The major studios would do well to take note.

The Wall also launched in nationwide-but-limited release this weekend, but is doing far less well. It is expected to pick up about $890,000 from 541 theaters, for an average of $1,648. That’s disappointing for a film with a good premise and an obvious opportunity to tap into an audience that feels under-served.

In really limited release, two films will top $10,000 per theater this weekend. Paris Can Wait is the big winner with $101,825 projected from four theaters. Manifesto is expected to pick up $10,500 from a single location.

- Weekend estimates

- All-time highest-grossing films worldwide
- Biggest second weekends
- Marvel Cinematic Universe box office history

- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 comparison chart
- Snatched comparison chart
- King Arthur: Legend of the Sword comparison chart
- Fate of the Furious comparison chart
- The Boss Baby comparison chart
- Beauty and the Beast comparison chart

Filed under: Weekend Box Office, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2, Snatched, How to Be a Latin Lover, Lowriders, The Wall, Paris Can Wait, Manifesto, Marvel Cinematic Universe