After his feature directorial debut Attack the Block scored strong reviews and even stronger buzz, Joe Cornish was singled out as a filmmaking talent well worth keeping an eye on. However, it would be another eight years before he helmed another movie, which ended up bombing hard at the box office.
Arthurian lore has become an increasingly tough sell to modern audiences, with Antoine Fuqua’s 2004 King Arthur earning a shade over $200 million on a budget well in excess of $100 million, while Guy Ritchie’s dire Legend of the Sword became one of the biggest financial catastrophes in history.
Putting a new spin on the story, Cornish’s The Kid Who Would Be King took place in the modern day, and found a youngster named Alex stumbling upon the mythical Excalibur. Joining forces with an eccentric and youthful Merlin, a ragtag group of teens band together in an effort to stop the supernatural army of Rebecca Ferguson’s Morgana.
Despite boasting a Rotten Tomatoes score of 90%, The Kid Who Would Be King was a colossal failure, recouping just $32 million from theaters against production costs of $60 million. At long last it appears to be finding the audience it deserved first time around, though, with FlixPatrol revealing that the 20th Century Fox title is currently one of the 20 most-watched movies on Disney Plus.