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Hollywood loves Robin Hood and King Arthur movies despite poor performance

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robin hoodLionsgate

  • “Robin Hood” is now in theaters, the latest iteration of the
    classic tale to receive poor critical reviews, and it’s on track
    for a horrible week at the box office.
  • It’s the latest example of Hollywood being obsessed with
    the medieval stories of Robin Hood and King Arthur, despite
    negative response from audiences and critics alike.
  • Last year’s “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” could be an
    indicator of how poorly “Robin Hood” will do at the box office,
    and it didn’t even make back its production budget.
  • Sony is developing a “Robin Hood” spin-off starring Margot
    Robbie that focuses on the love interest, Marian, and more “Robin
    Hood”-inspired projects have been in development in recent years.

 

Audiences don’t care about them and critics despise them, but
Hollywood is still obsessed with the medieval tales of Robin Hood
and King Arthur.

The latest iteration of the former, Lionsgate’s “Robin Hood,”
starring Taron Egerton, came to theaters on Wednesday, and the
odds of success look slim. The movie has a dreadful 13% critic
score on Rotten Tomatoes as of Wednesday morning, and it’s
tracking between $13 million and
$15 million
for the five-day Thanksgiving weekend.

Even by Robin Hood and King Arthur standards, that’s poor.

The last “Robin Hood” in 2010, directed by Ridley Scott and
starring Russell Crowe in the title role, made $36 million in its
opening weekend and went on to earn just $105 million in the US.
It performed better internationally, ending up with a total $321
million worldwide off of a $200 million production budget. Still,
it didn’t quite warrant another reboot.

2004’s “King Arthur,” starring Clive Owen, made $51 million in
the US and $203 million worldwide. It has a 31% Rotten Tomatoes
critic score.


READ MORE: Why ‘Widows’ has flopped at the
box office despite stellar reviews and a powerhouse
cast

But a better comparison to the newest Robin Hood might be last
year’s “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword,” which made $15
million in its opening, a normal three-day weekend. It also took
an age-old story and “updated” it for modern audiences with a
younger actor in the lead.

“Legend of the Sword” also received a 31% Rotten Tomatoes critic
score, and made only $148 million worldwide. Its production
budget was $175 million, meaning it was a certified bomb. If
that’s any sign of what “Robin Hood” can look forward to, the
movie is dead on arrival, especially with so much competition in
theaters right now (“Creed II” and “Ralph Breaks the Internet”
also debut this week).

The previous iterations of both “King Arthur” and “Robin Hood”
performed modestly, and the follow-ups even worse (at least,
that’s what “Robin Hood” is on track for this week). Despite
that, another “Robin Hood” movie is in development from Sony,
this time focusing on the love interest, Marian, played by Margot Robbie,
who takes up Robin Hood’s cause after he dies
.

In 2014, Disney acquired a Robin
Hood-inspired spec script called “Nottingham & Hood,”

which had a “a ‘Pirates Of The
Caribbean’ tone,” according to Deadline. And The
Hollywood Reporter reported in 2016 that the producers of “300”
were developing a futuristic movie with
the working title of “Robin Hood 2058.”
Updates have been
quiet since on both projects, but it highlights a strange
attraction to this product.

It’s no surprise that Hollywood glues itself to a franchise
once it performs well with audiences. We have five “Pirates of
the Caribbean” and “Transformers” movies because they’re massive
hits worldwide despite abysmal reviews. But there’s nothing about
the “Robin Hood” and “King Arthur” brands that make them uniquely
appealing considering the performance of the most recent
examples. 

Maybe Hollywood will finally get the hint after this
week.

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