Audiences say 'The Last Duel' flopped because of poor marketing after Ridley Scott blames millennial audiences
- Ridley Scott said millennials were to blame for the poor box office showing for "The Last Duel."
- Scott said millennials are unable to engage with information unless it is delivered through a phone.
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Sir Ridley Scott made headlines earlier this week when he told Marc Maron's "WTF" podcast that he believed his latest epic "The Last Duel" flopped at the international box office because millennials are no longer able to engage with information unless it is delivered through a cellphone.
"I think what it boils down to — what we've got today [are] audiences who were brought up on these fucking cellphones. The millennian [sic] do not ever want to be taught anything unless you're told it on a cellphone," Scott told the podcast.
"This is a broad stroke, but I think we're dealing with it right now with Facebook. This is a misdirection that has happened where it's given the wrong kind of confidence to this latest generation, I think."
"The Last Duel" landed exclusively in theaters in late October and took home $27 million at the worldwide box office from a $100 million budget. As such, the film's producers lost at least $73 million in production costs. Later during the podcast, Scott praised Disney who picked the film up through its historic acquisition of Fox in 2019 and distributed as well as marketed the film during its exclusive theatrical run.
"Disney did a fantastic promotion job," Scott said. "The bosses loved the movie — because I was concerned it was not for them — but they really liked the movie, so their advertising, publicity, et cetera, was excellent."
In response to Scott's comments, audiences, particularly those who belong to the so-called millennial generation — that is, people who were born in the time period ranging from the early 1980s to the mid-1990s and early 2000s — have shared why they decided not to see "The Last Duel" with many disagreeing with Scott and criticizing the film's marketing strategy.
Journalist and critic Alistair Ryder tweeted: "Call me old fashioned, but I remember the days where we all accepted the simple fact that 'The Last Duel' bombed because the studio didn't bother marketing a film with four A-list stars and a massive director, to the extent nobody outside of Twitter knew it existed"
—Alistair Ryder (@YesitsAlistair) November 23, 2021
Writer and comic artist Adam Ellis tweeted: "I'm a millennial and I've seen 31 movies in theaters in the past 5 months. 'The Last Duel' wasn't one of them because it looked boring. We're not apathetic, we just value our time like anybody else??? Market your movie better you old crusty mummy."
—Adam ElIis (@adamtotscomix) November 22, 2021
The Twitter account @Gay_Boi_Charlie similarly sounded off on the marketing efforts around "The Last Duel."
"I saw the trailer for The Last Duel when I went to see The Suicide Squad and I remember distinctly thinking to myself "I don't like how this movie looks like it's always about to rain" and then never heard of this movie again cuz the marketing sucked." the account posted.
—Charlie (@Gay_Boi_Charlie) November 22, 2021
Insider has contacted Disney, the studio behind the film's production and marketing, for comment.
The film, which stars Matt Damon, Adam Driver, Jodie Comer, and Ben Affleck, follows a married woman, Marguerite (Jodie Comer), as she accuses a knight, Jacques LeGris (Adam Driver), of raping her. LeGris denies the accusations. In response, LeGris and his friend, Marguerite's husband Jean de Carrouges (Matt Damon), fight a duel to the death in 14th century France.
The film is based on the book "The Last Duel: A True Story of Crime, Scandal, and Trial by Combat" and was adapted for the screen by Affleck, Damon, and academy award nominee Nicole Holofcener. In a review of the film, Insider entertainment correspondent Kirsten Acuna said "The Last Duel" is a difficult watch that "may be triggering for abuse survivors."
Acuna's review also praised the performance of Jodie Comer.
"Though her lines are minimal until the last leg of the film, Comer's brilliant at simply acting with her eyes, something the actress mastered in her expressiveness on the spy thriller series, 'Killing Eve,'" the review read.
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