- The Warrior’s Way movie box office: Starring Jang Dong-gun, Kate Bosworth, and Geoffrey Rush, director-screenwriter Sngmoo Lee’s poorly received Western/’Eastern’ mix – fierce martial arts fighter is transplanted to the Old American West – opened to disastrous numbers in the domestic market.
The Warrior’s Way movie box office: Starring Jang Dong-gun & Kate Bosworth, Western/’Eastern’ mix is a major critical and commercial dud
Dec. 3–5 weekend box office: The no. 2 movie over the extended Thanksgiving weekend, the Walt Disney Studios’ computer-animated musical fairy tale Tangled has turned out to be a far bigger hit than anyone expected, topping the North American (U.S. and Canada only) box office chart on its second weekend out.
According to final studio figures found at boxofficemojo.com, Tangled grossed $21.6 million (down 56 percent; cume: $96.6 million), thus dethroning Warner Bros.’ fantasy adventure Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, which earned $17 million (down 65 percent; cume: $244.5 million) on its third outing.
However, this past weekend’s most interesting domestic box office story – or rather, stories – were the performances of two titles further down the chart: Relativity Media’s The Warrior’s Way at no. 9 and Fox Searchlight’s Black Swan at no. 13; the former is a huge flop in wide release; the latter is a huge hit in limited release.
Domestic audiences reject poorly received genre combo
Budgeted at a reported $42 million (as always, not including marketing and distribution expenses), the critically derided New Zealand-South Korean coproduction The Warrior’s Way opened with a dismal $3 million from 1,622 theaters. This unusual Western/“Eastern” mix with fantastical elements – the 1970s TV series Kung Fu is probably its best-known predecessor – averaged a paltry $1,879 per venue.
Expect The Warrior’s Way to disappear from domestic screens far – but far – faster than the nearly three years it took to reach them.
Written and directed by Sngmoo Lee, The Warrior’s Way follows a 19th-century warrior who flees from somewhere in East Asia to somewhere in the American West, where his martial arts skills are put to good use. In the international cast: Jang Dong-gun from South Korea; Kate Bosworth, Danny Huston, and Tony Cox from the United States; and Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush (Shine, 1996) from Australia.
An aside: The most recent Western to rake in more than $100 million in the domestic market was Richard Donner’s Maverick – $101.6 million – back in 1994. In the cast: Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, and James Garner (of TV’s 1950s Maverick).
Martial arts Western is a global bomb
Update: Sngmoo Lee’s The Warrior’s Way ultimately collected $5.7 million domestically and $5.4 million internationally (apparently incomplete). Worldwide total: $11.1 million, making the martial arts Western one of the year’s biggest bombs in relation to its cost.
Its top international markets were South Korea (filmmaker Lee and star Jang Dong-gun’s native country, with $2.7 million), Russia/CIS ($1.3 million), and the United Kingdom/Ireland ($294,000).
Note: Figures for most major countries are missing from Box Office Mojo’s list.
Rounding out the Top Five
For the record, trailing Tangled and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 on this past weekend’s domestic box office chart were:
- At no. 3, Steven Antin’s backstage musical Burlesque grossed $6.1 million (down 49 percent on its second weekend). Cume: $27 million. Cast: Cher, Christina Aguilera, and Cam Gigandet.
- At no. 4, Tony Scott’s action thriller Unstoppable grossed $6 million (down 48 percent on its fourth weekend). Cume: $68.8 million. Cast: Chris Pine and Denzel Washington.
- At no. 5, Edward Zwick’s romantic comedy-drama Love & Other Drugs grossed $5.7 million (down 42 percent on its second weekend). Cume: $22.6 million. Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway.
”The Warrior’s Way Movie Box Office” endnotes
Unless otherwise noted, “The Warrior’s Way Movie Box Office: Martial Arts Western Is One of Year’s Biggest Flops” 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, Deadline.com, etc.).
Comments about The Warrior’s Way 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.
Jang Dong-gun, Kate Bosworth, and Geoffrey Rush The Warrior’s Way movie image: Relativity Media.
“The Warrior’s Way Movie Box Office: Martial Arts Western Is One of Year’s Biggest Flops” last updated in November 2022.