Lionsgate's new film adaptation of the classic Robin Hood story misses the mark, earning $22 million worldwide on a budget of about $100 million. As much as Hollywood loves pumping out sequels to proven franchises, another thing it loves almost as much is adapting stories from the public domain. There's a reason things like Shakespeare plays, books like Frankenstein and Dracula, and characters from folklore like Robin Hood tend to get made into movies over and over again: studios don't have to pay to license the story rights, and everyone knows the property.
Dating back to 13th century English tales, Robin Hood's premise of a noble thief that robs from the rich and gives to the poor, all while fighting the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham and wooing his true love Marian has been adapted for film and TV literally dozens of times. The classical cultural reference points for Robin Hood depictions on the silver screen tend to be 1938's The Adventures of Robin Hood starring Errol Flynn, and Disney's 1973 animated adaptation which transformed the swashbuckling rogue into a fox.
In the last few decades, Hollywood has attempted multiple times to craft a blockbuster hit version of Robin Hood, with 1991 even seeing two different Robin Hood feature films debut, the more high profile being Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, starring Kevin Costner. Perhaps they should have stopped there, as that film earned $390 million on a budget of $48 million, despite mixed reviews. 2010's Robin Hood starring Russell Crowe also made over $300 million, but against a massive budget of $200 million, making it unlikely to turn a profit after marketing costs. Now, the 2018 movie rendition of Robin Hood has sank like a stone, earning $22 million worldwide on a reported budget of about $100 million over its first five days in theaters, according to The Wrap.
While Robin Hood (2018) - which stars Taron Egerton from the Kingsman franchise as the titular hero, Jamie Foxx as Robin's mentor Little John, Ben Mendolson as the villainous sheriff, and Eve Hewson as Marian - is likely to make more money as its theatrical run continues, earnings rarely increase after a film's opening weekend. No matter how one slices it, it seems statistically impossible for director Otto Bathurst's film to even make its budget back in theaters, much less turn a profit. Only an abnormally high gross in foreign markets it's yet to open in could possibly save Robin Hood's financial future.
Absolutely abysmal reviews likely contributed to Robin Hood failing to take flight at the box office, with the film scoring a dour 11 percent on aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, and a not much better 33 on Metacritic. Of course, bad reviews don't necessarily doom a film, as has been made evident by Venom's march to over $800 million worldwide. That said, the generally lukewarm reaction to Robin Hood's trailers and overall marketing effort points to the idea that moviegoers are simply tired of the Robin Hood story, and wish Hollywood would go a decade or two without retelling it.
Source: The Wrap