Ridley Scott’s “The Last Duel” had a buzzy Venice Film Festival world premiere, featured big name talent like Matt Damon and Ben Affleck (plus Emmy winner Jodie Comer and Adam Driver), and boasted strong reviews. However, none of these factors were able to save the film from being one of the biggest box office disasters of the year. Made on a production budget of $100 million, the film barely cracked $10 million at the U.S. box office and ended its run with $27 million globally. Why was the film such a bomb? Scott shared his take during a recent interview on Marc Maron’s “WTF” podcast (The Hollywood Reporter).
“I think what it boils down to — what we’ve got today [are] the audiences who were brought up on these fucking cell phones,” Scott said. “The millennian, [who] do not ever want to be taught anything unless you told it on the cell phone…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.”
While apathetic millennials ignored “The Last Duel,” Scott maintained that Disney did right by the movie. The director said the studio, which ended up with “The Last Duel” after acquiring 20th Century Fox, did “a fantastic promotion job,” adding, “The bosses loved the movie because I was concerned it was not for them.”
Despite “The Last Duel” tanking at the box office, Scott stands by the movie. “That’s the call you make,” he said. “That’s the call Fox made. We all thought it was a terrific script. And we made it. You can’t win all the time. I’ve never had one regret on any movie I’ve ever made. Nothing. I learned very early on to be your own critic. The only thing you should really have an opinion on is what you just did. Walk away. Make sure you’re happy. And don’t look back. That’s me.”
Scott won’t have to wait long to rebound at the box office. The director’s new movie is “House of Gucci,” the buzzy murder drama pairing Lady Gaga and Adam Driver. The film has Oscar buzz and opens in theaters November 24.