the kid who would be king box office

The Kid Who Would Be King is having a royally bad time at the box office. Joe Cornish‘s family-friendly follow-up to his 2011 breakout hit Attack the Block is gearing up to be one of the year’s first big-budget flops after the $60 million movie debuted last weekend to a disastrous $7 million at 3,521 theaters.

Only a month into 2019, The Kid Who Would Be King marks the lowest launch for a wide-release from a major studio this year. According to Variety, rival studios estimate that the fantasy-adventure could lose around $50 million, taking marketing and production costs into account.

That’s a big hit to Cornish, on whom anticipation was riding high for his second feature after the critically acclaimed sci-fi hit Attack the Block. But the long wait between his first film and his follow-up may have muted excitement for the director, and the film’s difficulty marketing toward families may have hurt the film. Variety notes that marketing for a family movie tends to be pricier for an average film as well, because studios have to pitch to both children and parents. And it’s still in question whether that advertising succeeded — the trailers failed to impress, and many were left wondering who the audience was for this King Arthur retelling.

It’s unfortunate, because The Kid Who Would Be King is a genuinely sweet and charming film that deserves more than its more box office showing. A spiritual throwback to ’80s kid adventure films, The Kid Who Would Be King delivers the kind of sincere, earnest movie that you rarely see nowadays: a family film that doesn’t try to talk down to kids.

However, 20th Century Fox is disputing reports that The Kid Who Would Be King would suffer huge financial losses. The studio remains hopeful that international numbers, especially in the U.K. where it has yet to open, will help recoup losses. The film began its overseas rollout last weekend, though things don’t look too bright for it globally either, with $1.9 million overseas bringing its global total to $10.45 million.

Hopefully, this won’t harm Cornish’s budding career as a director. The Ant-Man and Adventures of Tintin writer is a bonafide talent. Perhaps the next Star Trek sequel could help him get this box office clunker out of the stone.

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