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A hot potato: Ridley Scott has been behind the camera for some of cinema's greatest and most iconic movies—Blade Runner, Alien, Gladiator, to name a few. His latest offering, The Last Duel, is another to receive rave reviews from critics, but that hasn't translated into box office takings. According to the director, the fault lies with apathetic millennials and "their f**kin cellphones."
Scott used his appearance on Marc Maron's WTF Podcast to reveal why he believes The Last Duel performed so poorly. "I think what it boils down to—what we've got today [are] the audience who were brought up on these f***ing cellphones," he said. "The millennian [sic] do not ever want to be taught anything unless you told it on the cellphone."
"This is a broad stroke, but I think we're dealing with it right now with Facebook," the 83-year-old director added. "This is a misdirection that has happened where it's given the wrong kind of confidence to this latest generation, I think."
Millennials, for those unfamiliar, are generally classed as those born between 1981 and 1996.
The Last Duel, which stars Ben Affleck, Jodie Comer, Matt Damon, and Adam Driver, is an epic historical drama set in 14th-century France that deals with social issues relevant today. It has an 85% 'Fresh' rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an 81% audience score.
But despite all the praise, The Last Duel has recouped just $27 million from a budget of $100 million. Scott emphasized that Disney went all out in promoting the film. "Disney did a fantastic promotion job," he said. "The bosses loved the movie […] I was concerned it was not for them."
This isn't the first time Scott has drawn the ire of a specific demographic. He recently referred to superhero movies as "f**king boring as s**t," and in 2017 said he would rather "keep making smart films" than any featuring DC's and Marvel's characters. He wasn't much of a fan of Epic Games' version of Apple's '1984' ad, either—Scott directed the original.
Covid continues to influence cinema-goers, of course, with many people opting to see blockbusters such as superhero movies on the big screen while waiting for the likes of The Last Duel to hit streaming services. Scott's next film, House of Gucci, is out this week. He'll probably be hoping Millennials can stay off their phones long enough to enjoy that one, though the early reviews haven't been as positive.