Ridley Scott blames The Last Duel box office failure on millennials

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The Last Duel

The Last Duel bombed at the box office (Picture: Patrick Redmond)

Ridley Scott has blamed the box office failure of The Last Duel not on the pandemic, not on its promoters… but millennials with mobile phones.

The director’s first huge film of the year was the epic historical drama The Last Duel, which told the story of a knight who challenged his friend to a duel after his wife accused the squire of raping her.

It starred Matt Damon, Adam Driver, Jodie Comer and Ben Affleck, but despite the huge budget and impressive cast, it made just $27million (£20m) worldwide off a $100million (£74m) budget when it was released exclusively in cinemas in October.

Many films have had issues getting punters away from streaming services and into cinemas as the pandemic continues, but Scott has another idea of why the movie bombed.

Speaking on Marc Maron’s WTF Podcast, the 83-year-old said: ‘I think what it boils down to — what we’ve got today [are] the audiences who were brought up on these f***ing cellphones.

‘The millennials… [who] do not ever want to be taught anything unless you’re told it on a cellphone.

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‘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.’

Matt Damon, from left, Ridley Scott, Jodie Comer and Ben Affleck pose for photographers upon arrival for the photo call of the film 'The Last Duel' at the 78th edition of the Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy, Friday, Sept. 10, 2021. (Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP)

Ridley Scott defended the movie (Picture: Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP)

He had no criticism of Disney, who held the rights to the movie through their merger with 20th Century Fox, adding: ‘Disney did a fantastic promotion job. The bosses loved the movie. … I was concerned it was not for them.’

The Last Duel mainly made headlines prior to its release when Matt Damon became stranded in a Dublin suburb for months when filming was suspended due to Covid-19, and he ended up becoming a bit of a local of Dalkey.

Then there was the buzz surrounding Ben Affleck’s red carpet debut post-reunion with Jennifer Lopez at the movie’s premiere at the Venice Film Festival.

Despite the box office disaster, Scott doesn’t regret anything about The Last Duel.

He said: ‘That’s the call you make. 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 does have another chance this year of a box office smash in the form of House of Gucci, which is out this week.

He directed the drama which stars Lady Gaga as Patrizia Reggiani and Adam Driver as Maurizio Gucci – the fashion house head and ex-husband whose murder Reggiani was convicted of orchestrating.


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