Box-Office Bomb Alert: Pricey 'King Arthur' Headed for Weak $25M Debut

Pamela McClintock

Djimon Hounsou and Charlie Hunnam (Photo: Daniel Smith /© Warner Bros. Pictures) 

If the forecast is correct, the second weekend of summer at the North American box office will prove problematic.

Disney and Marvel's superhero tentpole Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is easily expected to stay atop the chart with $60 million or more despite the entry of director Guy Ritchie's big-budget epic, King Arthur: The Legend of the Sword.

King Arthur, a dark retelling of the mythic royal tale, is projected to debut in the $25 million range domestically after costing Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow $175 million to produce before a major marketing spend. The male-fueled movie will need to do mighty business overseas in order to come out in the black.

Read more: 'King Arthur: Legend of the Sword': Film Review

Conversely, Guardians Vol. 2 is expected to rocket to $60 million or more in its second weekend after opening to an impressive $146.5 million last weekend in North America. Globally, the sequel has grossed north of $450 million to date.

Starring Charlie Hunnam as the title character, King Arthur's opening has been delayed several times. The film was originally set to hit theaters in July 2016, and then February 2017. It was subsequently pushed to March 2017, and then May 12. Astrid Berges-Frisbey, Djimon Hounsou, Aidan Gillen, Jude Law and Eric Bana also star. 

The weekend's other new nationwide offering is the female-fueled Snatched, starring Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn. The R-rated action-comedy, from Fox and Chernin Entertainment, hopes to profit from Mother's Day.

Still, it won't come close to matching the $30 million debut of Schumer's R-rated comedy Trainwreck in July 2011; rather, tracking suggests the movie will open in the mid-teens.

Snatched, costing $42 million to make, marks Hawn's first turn on the big screen in 15 years. The story revolves around an estranged mother and daughter who take a tropical vacation together with disastrous results. 

Read more: Hollywood Braces for Big Decline at Summer Box Office