Charlie Hunnam Reveals His Reaction To King Arthur Bombing At The Box Office

Charlie Hunnam in King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
(Image credit: (Warner Bros.))

While every summer box office season brings some big hits that has moviegoers constantly throwing cash in their direction, there's always a few films that have to endure the title of summer bomb. Among the first of 2017's summer movie line-up was King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, which made a mere $15 million at opening, despite being helmed by Sherlock Holmes director Guy Ritchie and lead by Sons of Anarchy stud Charlie Hunnam. A little over a year after Warner Bros. lost millions on the dud, the star was asked how one recovers from the career low he suffered with the release of King Arthur. Here's what he said:

Yeah. I mean it's inevitable. I've certainly had to endure more failure in my career than I've enjoyed success. One develops something of a thick skin. Ultimately to me, I feel incredibly fortunate to do what I love, which is making films. But I'm a film process orientated guy. But the time a film is actually coming out, I really feel very, very little identification or I really don't have much of a stake in it anymore. To me the process is sacred and beautiful and where I spend all of my energy is in actually exploring the idea and trying to find some truth in it and enjoy the process of actually making films. Through the editing and all of the press and stuff there becomes a big distance for me between it.

In his interview with the Boston Herald, Charlie Hunnam gave a level-headed answer to the sure disappointment that King Arthur: Legend of the Sword brought he and the cast and crew after so few people went out to see the big budget film. Instead of focusing on the success or failure of the project he worked on, he hones in on playing his roles to the best of his ability and the exciting process of being on a film set.

Charlie Hunnam famously turned down the role of Christian Grey on the Fifty Shades franchise and while in hindsight he admits he would have been a very rich if he hadn't, he likely turned it down because it wasn't the creative project he was looking for. With King Arthur, the film's earnings didn't necessarily reflect the quality of the film. It's failure is also due to being released in the middle of big franchise entries Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Alien: Covenant, along with some poor marketing. Hunnam explaining more of his thoughts on the experience to the Boston Herald:

I'm just a particularly results-orientated person. When something comes out and everybody hates it and it does no business, I mean it's certainly a bummer, but it really actually doesn't have that great of an effect. The only real effect that I had in that situation was, I'd had to do so much press that I'd been on the road for six weeks. I was sort of immersed in the experience of trying to sell that film. That certainly builds up a sort of expectation for when it will come out to see what it does. But it's a funny thing. It's a hard thing really to explain, but I don't feel a deep connection with an end result of a film. I don't watch films once they're finished, actually. I just am 99% focused on the process of actually making the film.

Thankfully for the star, he is moving on, as he promotes his first starring role since King Arthur with Papillon opposite Rami Malek. The film follows in the footsteps of a 1973 adaptation starring Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman about the memoirs of Devil's Island prisoner Henri Charriere, who was sentenced to labor camp imprisonment in South America in the 20s. Director Guy Ritchie is moving on to some high-profile projects of his own with the live-action Aladdin and Sherlock Holmes 3 under his belt. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword may have bombed at the box office, but it wasn't enough to ruin the careers of those involved.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.