Black Knight

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  • Directed By: Gil Junger
  • Written By: Darryl Quarles, Peter Gaulke, Gerry Swallow
  • Release Date: November 21, 2001
  • Domestic Distributor: FOX
  • Cast: Martin Lawrence, Marsha Thomason, Tom Wilkinson

Box Office Info:
Budget: $50 million Financed by: FOX; New Regency
Domestic Box Office: $33,426,971 Overseas Box Office: $6,549,264

In July 1999, New Regency paid $625,000 for Darryl Quarles’ spec script Black Knight, which was expected to be a staring vehicle for Chris Tucker or Chris Rock.  The project eventually moved forward with Martin Lawrence, who landed a $16.5 million payday for this garbage, after Big Momma’s House (also written by Quarles) became a hit for New Regency and FOX in 2000.  FOX and New Regency split the $50 million budget, with FOX handling distribution.

The picture was first dated for January 11, 2002 but moved up to November 21, 2001 as counter-programming over the Thanksgiving holiday frame.  Black Knight was positioned against the second weekend of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and new openers Spy Game and Out Cold.

The movie received terrible reviews and pulled in a soft $11,102,948 — placing #4 for the weekend led by Harry Potter.  Black Knight declined 50.3% the following frame to $5,522,248 and fell 42.9% in its third session to $3,155,226.  The domestic run closed with $33,426,971.

FOX gave Black Knight a small overseas rollout, where it cumed a mere $6.5 million.  The worldwide total was $39.9 million and the studio would see returned about $21.9 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross — which would not even cover P&A expenses or any of the budget.  Black Knight was the second flop for Martin Lawrence in 2001, after What’s The Worst That Could Happen? tanked in June.

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