For those worried that Marvel and DC movies are taking over the box office at the expense of nearly all other movies, this weekend probably didn’t make you happy. Snatched, the latest film from Jonathan Levine, he of The Night Before and 50/50, attempted to capture the Mother’s Day crowd by pairing Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn and didn’t find much of an audience. Guy Ritchie‘s adaptation of the King Arthur lore, starring Charlie Hunnam, did even worse. Still, the fact that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 took a second weekend – a not-rare feat for a Marvel property – with over $66 million shouldn’t have come as a surprise and there’s good reason to believe that James Gunn‘s sequel deserves its place above the new releases.
Snatched should have been a much better and much smarter movie. Schumer showed immense promise as a big-screen comedic performer in Judd Apatow‘s excellent Trainwreck. Putting her together with Hawn, who has stayed away from the spotlight since the early aughts, is an inspired idea but it doesn’t matter much if the script attempts to wrangle-in their personalities rather than explore them and the direction is meant only to move along the risible plot. That it beat out King Arthur to land in the second spot with $17.5 million is a welcome surprise but its tepid response from critics is warranted considering just how remarkably unfunny a movie starring two extremely funny people has come out.
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword landed in third place with $14.7 million and has already been handed the dubious honor of the summer’s first bomb, a label that’s hard to argue against. Sadly, I don’t imagine either Ritchie or Warner Bros. will understand that ripping off Game of Thrones ad nauseum while also desperately attempting to make King Arthur more hip without taking any major visual or narrative risks was crucial to this failure. The lack of imagination and borderline hysterical self-seriousness that Ritchie’s film carries along like a ball and chain makes the film itself feel like a burden that goes on for over two hours and cost $175 million to produce. That such a film was able to beat The Fate of the Furious in the fourth spot with $5.3 million and The Boss Baby in fifth with $4.6 million, even after weeks at the box office, may stand as its sole perceivable triumph when all is said and done.