Mark Wahlberg’s Arthur The King Could Be An Under-The-Radar Box Office Hit In The Making


“Arthur the King” follows Michael (Wahlberg) and a scrappy street dog companion dubbed Arthur. Light is desperate for one last chance to win and convinces a sponsor to back him and a team of athletes for the Adventure Racing World Championship in the Dominican Republic. As the team is pushed to their outer limits, Arthur ends up following them on their journey. The cast also includes Simu Liu (“Barbie”), Nathalie Emmanuel (“Fast X”), and Ali Suliman (“Jack Ryan”). It is based on the book “Arthur: The Dog Who Crossed the Jungle to Find a Home” by Mikael Lindnord.

Wahlberg’s two most recent movies — “Me Time” and “The Family Plan” — both went directly to streaming. As a result, he hasn’t had the chance to demonstrate his prowess at the box office for a little while. The hope here is that 2021’s “Joe Bell” ($1.7 million worldwide) was a fluke of a flop resulting from the pandemic, rather than a real indication of the actor’s appeal in non-franchise projects.

While critics have yet to weigh in on this one, it does feel like the kind of movie that is somewhat critic-proof. Audiences that turned up to see “A Dog’s Purpose,” for example, aren’t likely to be turned away by negative reviews. They either want to watch Wahlberg pal around with a cute, scrappy dog or they don’t. If the movie does open in the $15 million range, it will be well-positioned to potentially leg out and become a mid-budget winner, which is where Lionsgate excels.

Similarly, Channing Tatum’s “Dog” opened to $15 million in 2022 when it faced off against Wahlberg’s “Uncharted,” oddly enough. The charming man and dog story legged out to $85 million worldwide, never climbing past number two on the charts. If all goes well, Wahlberg’s latest could find itself on a very similar trajectory.

“Arthur the King” hits theaters on March 15, 2024.

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