- Directed By: Jason Winer
- Written By: Peter Baynham
- Release Date: April 8, 2011
- Domestic Distributor: Warner Bros
- Cast: Russell Brand, Helen Mirren, Greta Gerwig, Jennifer Garner
Box Office Info:
|Budget: $40 million||Financed by: Warner Bros|
|Domestic Gross: $33,035,397||Overseas Gross: $14,752,546|
Producer Larry Brezner had retained the remake rights to the 1981 smash hit Arthur through his management company MBST Entertainment and began to exploit the property in late 2008. Arthur was set up at WB, which handled the original picture. The budget for Arthur was $40 million and this remake was designed as a vehicle for Russell Brand, who would later describe the movie as a “mistake.” This would be Brand’s first top billing studio film and after its critical and commercial failure, it was his only studio vehicle.
Warner Bros dated Arthur for April 8, 2011 and gave the picture a strong marketing push. Tracking was pointing to a $16M opening but advanced buzz was mostly negative, with the usual (and justified) grumblings that this was a pointless remake of a comedy classic. Arthur bowed against another silly comedy Your Highness, which accounted for the two films competing for audiences and also Hanna and Soul Surfer opened.
Reviews were terrible and Arthur came in below expectations at $12,222,756 — placing #3 for the weekend led by the holdover toon Hop (which Brand provided voice work). Arthur declined 44.7% the following weekend to $6,755,340 and closed its domestic run with a disappointing $33,035,397.
Warner Bros saw terrible attendance internationally, with the poor UK gross of $5,414,235 as the strongest offshore number. The overseas cume was $14,752,546 and Arthur premiered on TV in France. The worldwide total was $47.7M and WB would see returned about $26.2M after theaters take their percentage of the gross — leaving tens of millions worth of global P&A expenses in the red and the budget untouched by the theatrical receipts.