A critically panned epic fantasy movie that was also a box office bomb is the number one movie on Netflix today. It’s interesting how some films sink without a trace in theaters and then find new life on streaming. And though it’s taken four years, infamous flop King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is now getting that treatment. According to the latest stats from Flix Patrol, the Charlie Hunnam vehicle is the most-watched title on Netflix in the US today, up two places since its last position in the rankings.
In between his cult-favorite spy flick The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and mega-hit Disney remake Aladdin, director Guy Ritchie attempted to reimagine the legend of King Arthur and Camelot for a new generation. Unfortunately, whether due to overfamiliarity with the character, Ritchie’s specific take or another reason, Legend of the Sword failed to make an impact with audiences. But at least they’re now checking it out in their droves on streaming.
After lost prince Arthur Pendragon (Hunnam) is raised on the mean streets of Londinium, he discovers he’s really the true king after pulling the fabled blade Excalibur from the stone. Though he doesn’t want to face up to the responsibility of his birthright, Arthur has no choice but to challenge his evil uncle Vortigern (Jude Law) in order to save his kingdom. Djimon Hounsou, Aidan Gillen, Astrid Berges-Frisbey, Eric Bana, Kingsley Ben-Adir, and Annabelle Wallis also feature.
Its worldwide gross of $148.5 million doesn’t sound too shabby… until you realize King Arthur had an exorbitant $175 million budget. Needless to say, Ritchie’s plans for an Arthurian cinematic universe spanning six films never materialized and Warner Bros. reportedly faced losses of $150 million. But, with the benefit of a few years away from all the bad press, Netflix viewers are clearly enjoying Legend of the Sword for the corny but enjoyable actioner it is.