Ben Affleck Knows the Real Reason 'The Last Duel' Suffered at the Box Office

'The Last Duel'Credit: 20th Century Studios
Ben Affleck says the whole industry has changed. 

I loved The Last Duel. It was a complex and interesting movie that contained some amazing performances and a story that showed how terrible life was for women, as well as how different perspectives on a crime can cloud any person's memory but open an audience to what really happened.

Unfortunately, the movie didn't do well at the box office. When asked about it, Ridley Scott blamed millennials on their phones, disinterested in being challenged or paying attention. But recently, Ben Affleck answered the same question with an especially nuanced answer. 

At a screening of his new film, The Tender Bar, The Hollywood Reporter said that Affleck answered with, “Ridley is at the stage in his career where, obviously, he’s completely unencumbered by concerns about what people think.”

Of course, that got a great reaction, but Affleck then expanded on why he thought people didn't go see the movie. 

He said, “Really, the truth is that I’ve had movies that didn’t work that bombed, that weren’t good. It’s very easy to understand that and why it happened. The movie is shit, people don’t want to see it, right? This movie, The Last Duel, I really like. It’s good and it plays—I saw it play with audiences and now it’s playing well on streaming. It wasn’t one of those films that you say, ‘Oh boy, I wish my movie had worked.’ Instead, this is more due to a seismic shift that I’m seeing, and I’m having this conversation with every single person I know. Though there are various iterations, the conversation is the same: How is [the movie business] changing?”

Affleck is right. Everything seems like it's changing in the blink of an eye.

Movies have so much to compete with now, not to mention the ongoing pandemic that's gripping the world.

Affleck also addressed home video, which is booming currently.

He said, “One of the fundamental ways it’s changing is that the people who want to see complicated, adult, non-IP dramas are the same people who are saying to themselves, ‘You know what? I don’t need to go out to a movie theater because I’d like to pause it, go to the bathroom, finish it tomorrow.’ It’s that, along with the fact that you can watch with good quality at home. It’s not like when I was a kid and the TV at home was an 11-inch black-and-white TV. I mean, you can get a 65-inch TV at Walmart for $130. There’s good quality out there and people are at home streaming in Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. It’s all changed.”

The world has changed, so where does that leave the cinema? We're learning in real-time, so we don't have the answers. What do you think? 

Let us know in the comments.      

You Might Also Like

Your Comment

9 Comments

That reason could be accurate. Another reason could be that the subject matter was unappealing to the majority of the film-going audience. Few people wanted to pay $20+ to see a movie about some guys arguing about whether or not a woman was raped.

December 16, 2021 at 12:06PM

5
Reply

I think your reason is the most accurate!

Great director and actors, but it just didn't seem that interesting, believable, or... original. And it kinda perpetuated a lot of problematic aspects that huge budget, Hollywood movies tend to hang their hat on. So we have no choice but to vote with our dollars for the better ideas.

December 16, 2021 at 3:35PM

3
Reply
bp
687

Since seeing the trailer I couldnt think of a good reason I needed to see this story. Cast and crew were amazing but the story itself couldve been told through a modern lens and maybe would have grabbed me a bit more.

December 17, 2021 at 10:42AM

0
Reply
avatar
Chris Hackett
Director, Director of Photography, Writer
1241

I have no idea how good this movie is and I have no interest in finding out. No one involved seemed to ask the question, “who is the audience for this?”

As has been pointed out, who wants to see Jodie Comer (who deserves better material) be sexually assaulted from different perspectives while the men whine about who’s telling the truth?

A #metoo movie written and directed by straight white men about defending straight white men’s honor? That just screams tone deaf.

December 17, 2021 at 12:53PM

0
Reply
avatar
David Patrick Raines
Actor/Writer/Director
147

Ben nailed it. This is why I simply laugh at people, not even making a living with films, who buy 8 K cams so kids can watch the movies they'll make with it on a phone, at best on a laptop. All the kids I know who watched movies on phones and tablets are looking for crushed blacks, blow up highlights and amazing dynamic range, absolutely!

December 18, 2021 at 3:36AM, Edited December 18, 3:36AM

0
Reply

wow a nice piece of information, thank you.

December 18, 2021 at 9:24AM

0
Reply
avatar
joe jordan
admin
84

When I saw the trailer for The Town, I was mesmerized. Well-executed, edited to-the-nines; star players laying it on the line.

When I saw the trailer for this film, I wondered how long a "duel" could last. The average in-shape man can fight at full energy for about 3 minutes.

And then I wondered how an hour and a half film could stretch that 3 minutes out. It just didn't grab me.

To be fair, one of Ryan Reynolds' most under-rated performances is in "Buried", and it had the same effect on me: What will they do for 90 minutes?

Which meant I wouldn't pay to see it in the theatre. But when I saw it on HBO a year later, it was awesome!

December 18, 2021 at 4:58PM

8
Reply
avatar
Alan Hays
Farmhand, Farm owner, Nature lover, Freedom fighter.
8

..."Plus, the name choice sucked"... B. Affleck...
Love ya, Ben! Can't wait to see this on HBO:)

December 18, 2021 at 5:02PM

6
Reply
avatar
Alan Hays
Farmhand, Farm owner, Nature lover, Freedom fighter.
8

I am curious if he blow up the box office what will be the comments? Did most of the ppl would say: "Yes for sure we know why. It was a masterpiece!" ? There are plenty iconic movies which stayed off the great incomes.

December 21, 2021 at 4:17PM

0
Reply