Czech epic ‘Medieval’ becomes one of the biggest box office flops in US history – The Prague Reporter
Czech action movie Medieval (Jan Zizka) caused a stir in Czech cinemas this weekend: seen by 104,921 spectators since its release on Thursday, only Thor: Love and Thunder, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madnessand local comedy Vysehrad: movie scored bigger opening weekends this year.
In the United States, meanwhile, the story is different: taking in $810,000 from 1,311 screens for an average of $617 per screen, Medieval became one of the biggest flops already. It opened at No 14, after Jordan Peele’s eighth weekend Nopewhile the Airbnb horror movie Barbaric topped the box office with a $10 million debut.
Among the films released in more than 1,000 theaters, excluding reissues, Medieval marked the 28th-lowest opening weekend of all time at the U.S. box office.
The situation is getting worse: Many films on this list are from 2020 and 2021, and their performances have been heavily impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and associated restrictions. Oscar-winning movies like nomadland and Promising young woman had worse opening weekends on a similar screen count like Medieval.
If we take 2020 and 2021 out of the equation, Medieval is the 20th-biggest flop among films released in over 1,000 theaters at the US box office, with all-time worst performances like those in 2015 Jem and the holograms and 2009 X-Games: the movie.
It’s also the third-biggest flop this year for movies on more than 1,000 screens, only surpassed by the Pierce Brosnan fairy tale The King’s Daughterwhich grossed $723,802 from 2,170 screens, and the Naomi Watts disaster Infinite Stormwhich grossed $758,919 from 1,525 screens.
While the US box office remains down in 2022, the pandemic is no longer to blame. Top Gun: Maverickwhich has grossed over $700 million at the US box office since its release to become the fifth highest-grossing film of all time, has proven that audiences are ready to return to theaters.
“Ultimately, we drastically reduced the number of theaters in which Medieval is shown at around 1,300. Film distribution in America is incredibly complicated at the moment, and since Jan Žižka is not known here, it would be terribly costly financially to promote the film,” he said.
“It was already too big a risk for me, which I was not going to take. Since the film has become very strong in the online world, we will generate most of the profits there. »
Still, Jákl was happy to see the positive reception from Medieval in Czech cinemas.
“I’m delighted that so many people came,” he said. “I would never have chosen these dates for the Czech distribution, but I had to adapt to America. Also, I was quite worried that not only covid, but especially the energy crisis, would affect attendance movie theaters in an absolutely fundamental way, which unfortunately happens, but you just can’t do anything about it.