Proving marquee names and critical acclaim are no guarantee of box office success, Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel bombed during its opening weekend. The historical drama starring Matt Damon, Adam Driver, and Jodie Comer drew a paltry $4.8 million domestically, falling far short of expectations and marking a career-worst for Scott.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, 20th Century Studios and Disney were hoping for an $8 to $10 million opening weekend for the film, which was made on a budget of more than $100 million. This was due to the uncertainty associated with period pics and the reluctance of older customers to return to theaters while COVID-19 variants are still in play. The 35 and older demographic was the target audience for The Last Duel and would have fueled its potential box office success.
However, a driving force for box office recovery in the US has been the return of younger moviegoers eager to see superhero movies and horror flicks like Halloween Kills, which topped the weekend with a $50.4 million debut despite simultaneously premiering on Peacock. Per Variety, more than half of the audience for The Last Duel was over the age of 35, while just 27% of Halloween moviegoers came from the older demographic.
Finishing second in the box office was No Time to Die, which dropped to $24.3 million from its $56 million launch last weekend. 25 percent of ticket buyers have said it was their first movie since the pandemic began, a promising sign that the film was able to draw in the older demographics.
Venom: Let There Be Carnage tallied $16.5 million, bringing its US total to $169.1 million. The Addams Family 2 came in fourth, followed by The Last Duel.