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‘King Arthur’ is summer’s first big box office flop

Warner Bros.’ “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” failed to pull an Excalibur-like miracle to top the “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” becoming the summer’s first big flop.

In its debut, the live-action take came in at third place with just $14.7 million. Falling well below analyst expectations of $25 million, this is an even rougher start than projected for a film with a $175-million price tag.

Directed by Guy Ritchie, a respected filmmaker since his 1998 debut “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” who was able to turn Sherlock Holmes into a Hollywood action hero with Robert Downey Jr., the film stars Charlie Hunnam as the legend, a casting gamble considering he had not yet proven to be a box office draw. Unfortunately, it appears he still isn’t.

“King Arthur” has suffered from a mix of negative reviews with it sitting at 27% on Rotten Tomatoes. Moviegoers (59% male; 56% under 35) gave it a B-plus CinemaScore.

While some hoped that the action-adventure might play like last year’s “Legend of Tarzan,” which was no blockbuster but did better than most people expected and went on to pull $127 million, such expectations are falling through. Still, like “Tarzan,” “King Arthur” could be an international hit to come. It pulled $29.1 million this weekend.

 

“Guardians” remains atop the box office for the second weekend in a row. The James Gunn-written and -directed picture, which opened higher than its predecessor by an impressive 55%, brought in another estimated $63 million in the U.S. and Canada. Beating analyst expectations of $58 million, this is only a 57% drop from its debut last week, a feat as most Marvel sequels tend to decline about 60%.

The first “Guardians” debuted with $94 million in its first three days and fell 55% in its second weekend.

Internationally, the film brought in $52.2 million for a global gross to date of $630.6 million.

Of the weekend’s new releases, however, 20th Century Fox’s “Snatched” performed the best, pulling in $17.5 million. It met analyst projections of $15 million to $20 million and landed in second place.

The film, starring Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn as a traveling daughter and mother on an exotic vacation that goes horribly wrong, is the first original raunchy comedy of the summer. As this is a genre that’s often box office gold, a la last year’s “Bad Moms” and 2014’s “Neighbors,” “Snatched’s” performance is a decent start for the $42-million movie.

But it is lower than the $30-million bow for Schumer’s 2015 hit “Trainwreck.” Perhaps the funny woman’s comedic shine is waning.

That might be due to a sea of poor reviews of the film, which only has a 36% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Audience members (77% female; 64% white; 51% 18 to 34) however did give the flick a B CinemaScore.

Pulling up the top five rear were Universal’s “The Fate of the Furious” and Fox’s “The Boss Baby.” The two brought in $5.3 million and $4.6 million this week, respectively, for domestic grosses to date of $215 million and $162.4 million.

On the limited release front, BH Tilt released “Lowriders” in less than 300 theaters. The coming-of-age drama set against East L.A.’s lowrider culture brought in $2.4 million, good enough for a top 10 spot at No. 8. and better than its 750,000 to $1.2 million projections.

Starring Demian Bichir and Eva Longoria, the film follows a young street artist (Gabriel Chavarria, “East Los High”) straddling life between his father (Bichir), who’s all about lowriders; his ex-felon brother (Theo Rossi of “Sons of Anarchy”), who hates their dad, and his need for self-expression. Longoria plays the wife of Bichir’s character, the stepmom to the other kids,

Dubbed the first major feature inspired by the people and traditions of the lowrider culture, and produced in part by Imagine Entertainment and Telemundo Films, “Lowriders” targeted high-performing Latino markets with the audience being 53% male and 61% 18 to 34.

Next weekend, added to the multiplexes will be Fox’s “Alien: Covenant” and “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul” and Warner Bros.’ young adult adaptation “Everything, Everything.”

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