The Last Duel underperforms at box office despite strong critical showing

The Last Duel
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Amidst strong competition, the historical drama The Last Duel from Ridley Scott seems to be lacking favour with audiences. 

October has seen some heavy-hitters hit cinema screens, with James Bond finally returning to the big screen, as well as the Venom sequel, Let There Be Carnage. Not to mention, Halloween Kills and Sir Ridley Scott’s historical drama, The Last Duel. As is sometimes the way when so many huge films release in a short window, one movie will struggle to find its audience, and in this particular case, it looks like being Scott’s The Last Duel. 

The film has fallen far short of expectations, grossing less than $5m in its opening weekend in the US, a stark contrast to Let There Be Carnage and Halloween Kills, both of which are doing big business. The former has raced to a $283m global haul whilst Halloween Kills has hit big with a $50m opening weekend in the US. 007 continues to pull in the cash too, amassing $440m so far globally.

In that context, The Last Duel's performance looks woeful, even when appreciating that the film may not possess a comic book character, world famous superspy or popular horror character. The problem isn’t the quality of the film either. It’s an absorbing watch, with enjoyable performances from Jodie Comer, Adam Driver and Matt Damon. Critics generally rallied around it, praising its performances, direction and use of a Kurosawa-style Rashomon story structure.

Hopefully, the film will yet find its audience, but it certainly hasn’t got off to the most auspicious of starts. It also might make things a touch more difficult for director Ridley Scott when it comes to loosening a few purse strings for Kitbag, his next film, a biopic of Napoleon, which also happens to be a French-centric historical drama.

We’d certainly recommend giving it a watch, should you get the opportunity, and hopefully, its poor performance won’t veer studios away from financing big budget films that aren’t based on existing intellectual property, such as the ones mentioned above.


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