Why has THE LAST DUEL underperformed?

Sir Ridley Scott blames cell phones and the shock of generations.

A little unfair, given that he himself plays the game of the film franchise himself on occasion (PROMETHEUS et al).

There is so much more to ponder here:

1: Release date:

If this is Oscar bait, the main niche is probably January-February? Contrary to popular belief, this is not an after Christmas cemetery. People love to go to the movies this time of year to cheer up and pass the time. The release now placed the film against James Bond, Ghostbusters, Marvel. Big mistake!

2: USP?

If it’s an ACTION movie, sell it as such. BRAVE HEART in 1995 (okay, that was 26 years ago but even so) was initially considered a tough sell because Mel Gibson, although being a star name, was not playing a cop or a romantic role as such.

How wrong those who shunned the financing and distribution options! Yes, the film is long and serious. But it’s still a cinch, a classic action / thriller flick, and Mel is in leading male mode.

THE LAST DUEL should have been sold as a clash of top men: DAMON V DRIVER with AFFLECK watching! But no. They tried to sell it as a movie “about” women and their abuse? It is a subtext rather than USP.


Was the film made for / with Amazon / Netflix etc? Then not only would he have struck, but he would have done so, decisively. And the funding / profit margins would have been stacked in favor of the film.

Whether we like it or not, going to the movies now costs more. And people are ALWAYS cautious about attending events, even after a pandemic peak. So the average viewer is of course drawn to the crowds that like the family-friendly franchise rates if they MUST go to the photos (but note my article on Christmas, the Oscar market buzz exemption, discussed above. ).

A streaming provider’s monthly fee covers all of your entertainment in one or two packages. The success rate of a show or movie is enough to help them make money and this is where THE LAST DUEL should have tossed and rested IMHO.

4: Too many Ridleys?

I love that an 80s director is not only alive and well, but also prolific and determined. Happy birthday, by the way! Inspirational stuff. The danger is that he will end up competing with his own product. GUCCI’S HOUSE is primarily in conflict with THE LAST DUEL. Big mistake!


I mentioned Mel Gibson / Braveheart. In the 1990s, Mel was so cool, loved, and popular that we would have seen him in anything. And it always felt like the man knew he kinda owed us a Deadly weapon every few years if we were going to support him in a HAMLET Where MAN WITHOUT A FACE?

Same dynamic here. Had Adam Pilot always been in STAR WARS fashion and Matt damon over JASON BOURNE? Then the association with these popcorn friendly franchise products would have increased the number of THE LAST DUEL. Simple!


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