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Arthur Box Office: Panned Russell Brand Remake Bombs

Arthur movie Russell BrandArthur movie with Russell Brand: Warner Bros.’ widely derided remake of its own 1981 blockbuster has turned out to be a box office flop.
  • Arthur box office: Featuring Russell Brand as the titular booze-loving heir, Warner Bros.’ Jason Winer-directed romantic comedy – a remake of the studio’s 1981 hit starring Best Actor Oscar nominee Dudley Moore – is on its way to becoming a sizable flop. General critical contempt hasn’t helped matters any. Helen Mirren costars.

Arthur box office: Featuring Russell Brand as the title character, Warner Bros.’ lambasted remake has bombed domestically

Ramon Novarro biography Beyond Paradise

April 8–10 weekend box office (cont.): Trailing Tim Hill’s live-action/animated fantasy adventure Hop and Joe Wright’s female-centered thriller Hanna, Jason Winer’s Arthur remake, featuring Russell Brand as the titular booze-loving heir, took in a mere $12.2 million from 3,276 North American (U.S. and Canada only) theaters according to final studio figures found at

That seems to indicate that Russell Brand’s voice, heard in Hop and in the hit Despicable Me, is far more of a commercial asset than his face and body.

Reviews were undoubtedly no help, as this Warner Bros. release has a dismal 25 percent approval rating among Rotten Tomatoes’ “top critics.” For comparison’s sake: Written and directed by Steve Gordon, Warners’ original 1981 Arthur has a 78 percent approval rating.

No box office draw

There’s little chance Arthur 2011 will be able to match – let alone recover – its reported $40 million budget in the domestic market. Compounding matters, international prospects are at best iffy for a romantic comedy with no major box office names.

Remember, two comedies featuring Russell Brand – Get Him to the Greek and Forgetting Sarah Marshall, both directed by Nicholas Stoller – did only so-so business outside the U.S. and Canada. Costarring Jonah Hill, the former earned $30.7 million; costarring Jason Segel, Kristen Bell, and Mila Kunis, the latter earned a slightly less unimpressive $42.7 million.

Adding insult to injury, the original Arthur – starring eventual Best Actor Oscar nominee Dudley Moore as the title character, Liza Minnelli as his love interest, and eventual Best Supporting Actor Oscar winner John Gielgud as his valet – raked in $95.5 million in 1981, or about $272 million adjusted for inflation.

Arthur cast

Besides Russell Brand, Arthur also features Oscar winner Helen Mirren (The Queen, 2006) as his longtime nanny (more or less the Gielgud role), Jennifer Garner as the woman Arthur must marry in order to receive his $950 million inheritance (Jill Eikenberry in the original), and Greta Gerwig as the free-spirited tour guide with whom Arthur falls in love (more or less the Minnelli role).

Also: Geraldine James as Arthur’s demanding mother (more or less Geraldine Fitzgerald in the original) and veteran two-time Oscar nominee Nick Nolte (The Prince of Tides, 1991; Affliction, 1998) as his would-be father-in-law.

Major global dud

Update: Russell Brand’s Arthur remake ultimately collected $33 million domestically and $15.1 million (likely incomplete) internationally. Worldwide total: $48.1 million.

That measly amount – for a big-studio release – was far from enough for Arthur to break even at the box office.

Its top international markets were the United Kingdom/Ireland ($5.4 million) and Australia ($5.3 million).

Note: Most major territories are missing from the Box Office Mojo chart.

Arthur Box Office: Panned Russell Brand Remake Bombs” notes

Arthur 1981 was Steve Gordon’s first and final film. He died of a heart attack at age 44 the following year.

Debuting at no. 4 on the weekend’s box office chart, the modestly budgeted Christian drama Soul Surfer will likely end up a modest flop. Anna Sophia Robb, Dennis Quaid, and Helen Hunt star.

Debuting at a lowly no. 6, David Gordon Green’s critically excoriated $50 million spoof Your Highness is about to become one of the year’s biggest bombs. James Franco, Danny McBride, and Natalie Portman star.

Unless otherwise noted, “Arthur Box Office: Panned Russell Brand Remake Bombs” box office information via Box Office Mojo. Budget info – which should be taken with a grain of salt – via BOM and/or other sources (e.g., the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Screen Daily, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety,, etc.).

Comments about Arthur and other titles being hits/profitable or flops/money-losers at the box office (see paragraph below) are based on the available data about their production budget, additional marketing and distribution expenses (as a general rule of thumb, around 50 percent of the production cost), and worldwide gross (as a general rule of thumb when it comes to the Hollywood studios, around 50–55 percent of the domestic gross and 40 percent of the international gross goes to the distributing/producing companies).

Bear in mind that data regarding rebates, domestic/international sales/pre-sales, and other credits and/or contractual details that help to alleviate/split production costs and apportion revenues are oftentimes unavailable, and that reported international grosses may be incomplete (i.e., not every territory is fully – or even partially – accounted for).

Also bear in mind that ancillary revenues (domestic/global television rights, home video sales, streaming, merchandising, etc.) can represent anywhere between 40–70 percent of a movie’s total take. However, these revenues and their apportionment are only infrequently made public.

Lastly, although a more accurate reflection of a film’s popularity (i.e., its number of tickets sold), inflation-adjusted estimates should be taken with extreme caution. For instance, they’re based on average domestic ticket prices (via the National Association of Theater Owners, unless otherwise noted) whereas numerous major releases scored a large chunk of their box office take at top-priced venues.

Russell Brand Arthur movie image: Warner Bros.

Arthur Box Office: Panned Russell Brand Remake Bombs” last updated in September 2023.

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