The Box Office

Peter Hyams, Mena Suvari & Jean-Pierre Castaldi during Deauville 2001

Some of the cast during the Deauville 2001 – The Musketeer premiere.

The movie was released to the public on September 7th 2001 and the first week it was number one in the charts, collecting more than $10 million over a very strong opening weekend. The following weekend it fell to the third spot and made a little more than half the money, with a modest $5.5 million. By its sixth week, the movie was the number 42 on the movie charts, making a little less than $80,000.

The critics were extremely harsh in their reviews of the film. The New York Times qualified everything negatively, even the actors. The critique, made by journalist Stephen Holden, was massively influential of public opinion and the box office reflected it immediately. In terms of consumer response, trendy movie forum Rotten Tomatoes shows an average of only 3.3 out of ten from 99 reviews on the website, which gives the movie a lousy 11% on the “Tomatometer”.

The movie cost $40 million to make; unfortunately, it only made $27 million in the domestic market and $34 globally. Although the numbers are not at all small, for a major Hollywood production they are way below expectation.

Film director Peter Hyams

Film director Peter Hyams

Some critics attributed the film’s poor reception to a badly-written screenplay and a jarring mixture of classic swordfights with top-class martial arts fighting. Did you ever think of D´Artagnan as a fearless acrobat flying through ladders to exact his revenge? Well, director Peter Hyams did and thought it was an excellent idea. Another thing noticed by the critics was the lack of emotion in the dialogue. The screenplay was not profound and the movie relied so much on visual effects and elaborate fighting choreography that for a moment you forget it´s a classic.

The critics and the audience did agree on the entertainment value of the film, but The Musketeer will forever be remembered as another huge Hollywood production that just didn´t work.