The Kid Who Would Be King

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    [Total: 31 Average: 3.2]
  • Directed By: Joe Cornish
  • Written By: Joe Cornish
  • Release Date: January 25, 2019
  • Domestic Distributor: FOX
  • Cast: Louis Ashbourne Serkis, Rebecca Ferguson, Patrick Stewart

Box Office Info:
Budget: $59 million Financed by: FOX; Working Title; TSG Entertainment
Domestic Box Office: $16,790,790 Overseas Box Office: $15,350,180

the kid who would be king 2019
The Kid Who Would Be King was Joe Cornish’s second feature after his low budget cult favorite Attack the Block (2011).  Cornish had numerous projects in development throughout the years, but none had materialized.  He was also offered directing duties for the franchise movies A Good Day to Die Hard and Star Trek Beyond, but he was uncomfortable with jumping into a mega-budget production and opted to helm this mid-budget throwback to ’80s kids movies.

The Kid Who Would Be King was written by Cornish in 2015 and he landed financing in 2016 from FOX and UK based Working Title.  TSG Entertainment has a slate funding arrangement at FOX and contributed a minority investment into the production.   The budget for The Kid Who Would Be King was $59 million and FOX handled global distribution duties.  The movie was first dated for September 28, 2018 but was pushed back to February 15, 2019 and then moved to March 1 and finally FOX settled on January 25.

FOX gave The Kid Who Would Be King an expensive marketing blitz in the US, spending $25.17 million on TV ads (as per iSpotTV) and after other traditional means of advertising and distribution expenses, the P&A costs were at least $40M.  Even with the heavy marketing exposure, the movie was tracking for disaster.  Whether it was audiences rejecting the upteenth take on the King Arthur legend or that huge budget comic book movies have become 4-quadrant tentpoles eating up the market share for movies like this — The Kid Who Would Be King opened into a saturated market where it would compete for family auds with the holdovers Aquaman, Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, A Dog’s Way Home, Mary Poppins Returns and The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part was opening around the corner two weeks later.

The Kid Who Would Be King bowed against Serenity and landed lukewarm to positive reviews, but tanked with $7,173,887 — placing #4 for the slow weekend led by Glass.  It declined 40.8% to $4,247,454 in its second frame and then sank 65.8% to $1,450,604 in its third session and promptly lost most of its theater count.  The stateside run closed with only $16,790,790.

The picture is currently faring no better in the international market with only $12.9M to date.  Markets are scheduled to open through June.  More as the numbers come in.  The Kid Who Would Be King marked the first major box office flop of 2019.


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  1. My family really enjoyed this movie. I remember seeing some posters for it, but I’m surprised they spent so much on advertisement, I don’t remember a single TV commercial.

  2. The fact that I liked this better than the King Arthur movie from 2 years ago really says something. I don’t think that this deserved the fate it was dealt.

  3. Didn’t deserve to do as badly as it did. Nothing special, but just felt like something from 10 or 15 years ago.

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