News, Culture & Society

Ben Affleck talks The Last Duel bombing and reveals opinion on Ridley Scott blaming millennials

Director Ridley Scott recently made waves as he blamed millennials for The Last Duel bombing at the box office in addition to telling a journalist to ‘go f*** yourself’ after saying the film was ‘more realistic’ than his previous films.

And Ben Affleck chimed in on the film bombing in addition to the controversies with a bit of a long-winded answer.

The  49-year-old actor gave a five minute ‘filibuster’ answer when asked about Scott’s recent comments during The Tender Bar premiere on Sunday according to The Hollywood Reporter.

 

Lots to say: Ben Affleck gave a five minute ‘filibuster’ answer as he discussed recent film The Last Duel during The Tender Bar premiere on Sunday according to The Hollywood Reporter 

Interesting: As the $100million budget film The Last Duel has barely topped $10million on the domestic box office since debuting in October, Affleck discussed the lack of monetary success the film has had while commenting on the state of the industry as a whole in what became a very long answer

Interesting: As the $100million budget film The Last Duel has barely topped $10million on the domestic box office since debuting in October, Affleck discussed the lack of monetary success the film has had while commenting on the state of the industry as a whole in what became a very long answer

Standing firm: Director Ridley Scott (seen in September) recently made waves as he blamed millennials for The Last Duel bombing at the box office in addition to telling a journalist to 'go f*** yourself' after saying the film was 'more realistic' than his previous films

Standing firm: Director Ridley Scott (seen in September) recently made waves as he blamed millennials for The Last Duel bombing at the box office in addition to telling a journalist to ‘go f*** yourself’ after saying the film was ‘more realistic’ than his previous films

Ben addressed 84-year-old Scott cursing at a Russian journalist while prefacing his statement by saying he was ‘slightly misquoted’ and joking ‘I mean, let’s be honest, who hasn’t wanted to say that in a press junket?’

He said: ‘Ridley is at the stage in his career where, obviously, he’s completely unencumbered by concerns about what people think.’

As the $100million budget film has barely topped $10million on the domestic box office since debuting in October,  Affleck discussed the lack of monetary success the film has had while commenting on the state of the industry as a whole in what became a very long answer.

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 s***, people don’t want to see it, right? This movie, The Last Duel, I really like. 

Ben (seen with girlfriend Jennifer Lopez) addressed 84-year-old Scott cursing at a Russian journalist while prefacing his statement by saying he was 'slightly misquoted' and joking 'I mean, let’s be honest, who hasn’t wanted to say that in a press junket?'

Ben (seen with girlfriend Jennifer Lopez) addressed 84-year-old Scott cursing at a Russian journalist while prefacing his statement by saying he was ‘slightly misquoted’ and joking ‘I mean, let’s be honest, who hasn’t wanted to say that in a press junket?’

‘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?’

He went into ways he believed the industry as a whole was changing including the viewing audience not wanting to go to the movie theater because they could enjoy media in the comfort of their own home especially when it comes to the technological advances like streaming and Dolby Vision and Atmos.  

Ben said he saw the shift coming even before the COVID-19 pandemic with his basketball drama film The Way Back in 2019 which earned just $14.7million but received overwhelmingly good reviews.

'I really love this movie, and no one’s going to see it': Ben said he saw the shift coming even before the COVID-19 pandemic with his basketball drama film The Way Back in 2019 which earned just $14.7million but received overwhelmingly good reviews

‘I really love this movie, and no one’s going to see it’: Ben said he saw the shift coming even before the COVID-19 pandemic with his basketball drama film The Way Back in 2019 which earned just $14.7million but received overwhelmingly good reviews 

He explained: ‘And you know what? I knew it was changing before the pandemic hit with The Way Back. I remember feeling like, “S***, I really love this movie, and no one’s going to see it.” 

‘I could just tell; it’s not going to land in the theaters. People don’t want to go see dramas. Then the pandemic hit, and ironically, one of the first few films that was rushed to streaming was The Way Back, and people did see it. I said, “You know what? This isn’t bad.” I would rather have people see this and watch it, and I don’t need to be stuck to the old ways [of doing business].’

He went on to discuss how he loves the theatrical experience but consuming theatrical arts has evolved from vaudeville all the way to television .

Affleck said: ‘Every time it’s the same, people watch stories that move them in different ways [on different platforms]. I think that’s OK. Actually, the good news is — and I don’t have the numbers in front of me right now — but I would strongly guess that people are watching more now, and are consuming more. 

'Every time it’s the same, people watch stories that move them in different ways': He went on to discuss how he loves the theatrical experience but consuming theatrical arts has evolved from vaudeville all the way to television, Matt Damon is seen in The Last Duel

‘Every time it’s the same, people watch stories that move them in different ways’: He went on to discuss how he loves the theatrical experience but consuming theatrical arts has evolved from vaudeville all the way to television, Matt Damon is seen in The Last Duel

Loved up: Affleck seen with Lopez at the premiere of The Last Duel in Venice, Italy back in September

Loved up: Affleck seen with Lopez at the premiere of The Last Duel in Venice, Italy back in September 

‘So, that’s a good thing and one of the reasons for it is that streamers are doing such great stuff. I mean, the content is spectacular. Succession? Spectacular! Ozark? Spectacular! When I started in this business, television, per se, was OK. It was serial programmers creating content and some of the shows were done great but they were still one thing and movies were trying to be art. That’s not the case anymore. You see shows on streaming that are just magnificent.’

 Affleck said that he is guilty of also not going to the actual cinema as he said the one movie that he has actually gone to see was Paul Thomas Anderson’s recently released Licorice Pizza.

He concluded his ‘filibuster’ by saying: ‘There are probably two or three directors, people like Paul Thomas Anderson and Quentin Tarantino, who have people saying, “OK, I’m going to see two or three movies in the theater this year, I’ll go see theirs.” I think you’re going to see 40 movies at least [released] each year now. 

'It was really difficult, and I think maybe [The Last Duel] would’ve done better on streaming because the way [studios and streamers] have of identifying and marketing directly to people who like it is really effective': Ben said, as Jodie Comer is seen in The Last Duel

‘It was really difficult, and I think maybe [The Last Duel] would’ve done better on streaming because the way [studios and streamers] have of identifying and marketing directly to people who like it is really effective’: Ben said, as Jodie Comer is seen in The Last Duel

‘When Gone Baby Gone came out [a 2007 film directed by Ben Affleck and starring Casey Affleck], there were something like 600 movies being released every year. We had seven movies debuting on the same weekend. It was really difficult, and I think maybe [The Last Duel] would’ve done better on streaming because the way [studios and streamers] have of identifying and marketing directly to people who like it is really effective. 

‘For God’s sake, think of this movie, [The Tender Bar,] I mean, Amazon has an enormous reach. Everybody uses Amazon. They may be buying groceries, refrigerators, whatever, but they still use it and you can reach people that way. I think you have to adapt with the times or you risk becoming a dinosaur, as my children tell me.’ 

He ended his rant by saying ‘that was my filibuster’ as it was the second and final question asked during the Q&A.

'There are probably two or three directors, people like Paul Thomas Anderson and Quentin Tarantino, who have people saying, "OK, I’m going to see two or three movies in the theater this year, I’ll go see theirs"': Affleck said that he is guilty of also not going to the actual cinema as he said the one movie that he has actually gone to see was Paul Thomas Anderson's recently released Licorice Pizza.

‘There are probably two or three directors, people like Paul Thomas Anderson and Quentin Tarantino, who have people saying, “OK, I’m going to see two or three movies in the theater this year, I’ll go see theirs”‘: Affleck said that he is guilty of also not going to the actual cinema as he said the one movie that he has actually gone to see was Paul Thomas Anderson’s recently released Licorice Pizza.

'For God’s sake, think of this movie, [The Tender Bar,] I mean, Amazon has an enormous reach. Everybody uses Amazon': Ben is seen in The Tender Bar

‘For God’s sake, think of this movie, [The Tender Bar,] I mean, Amazon has an enormous reach. Everybody uses Amazon’: Ben is seen in The Tender Bar

This came a month after legendary filmmaker Scott blamed  millennials for his film The Last Duel bombing at the box office.

The acclaimed director complained about young people’s attention spans have been whittled away by technology while talking to Marc Maron for his WTF podcast.

Offering an explanation for why the Matt Damon/Ben Affleck-fronted film only earned $27million off a $100million budget, Scott said: ‘I think what it boils down to — what we’ve got today [are] the audiences who were brought up on these f**king cell phones.’ 

Box office bomb: This came a month after legendary filmmaker Scott blamed millennials for his film The Last Duel bombing at the box office

Box office bomb: This came a month after legendary filmmaker Scott blamed millennials for his film The Last Duel bombing at the box office

Technology trap: Offering an explanation for why the film only earned $27m, Scott said 'I think what it boils down to — what we've got today [are] the audiences who were brought up on these f**king cell phones.' He's seen September 2021 above

Technology trap: Offering an explanation for why the film only earned $27m, Scott said ‘I think what it boils down to — what we’ve got today [are] the audiences who were brought up on these f**king cell phones.’ He’s seen September 2021 above

‘The millennian do not ever want to be taught anything unless you are told it on the cell phone,’ Scott – the man behind classics like Alien and Blade Runner – added, per Variety.

‘This is a broad stroke, but I think we’re dealing with it right now with Facebook,’ he said, not specifying an exact issue.

‘There is a misdirection that has happened where it’s given the wrong kind of confidence to this latest generation, I think,’ Scott went on.

Maron said he was surprised that the period action piece didn’t resonate with younger people, to which Ridley remarked: ‘I agree with you.’

‘Particularly with Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Adam Driver and this new girl called Jodie Comer,’ he said. 

‘That’s the call you make. That’s the call that Fox made. ‘We all thought it was a terrific script, and we made it.’

He added: ‘You can’t win all the time. As far as I’m concerned, I’ve never had one regret on any movie I’ve ever made. Nothing. 

‘I learned very early on to be your own critic. The only thing you should really have an opinion on is what you just did. Walk away. Make sure you’re happy. And don’t look back. That’s me.’ 

Days later Scott told a journalist to ‘go f*** yourself’ after he said The Last Duel is ‘more realistic’ than some of his previous work.

The film director and actress Jodie Comer participated in an interview with a Russian journalist where Ridley appeared insulted by his question. 

The reporter said: ‘It looks more realistic than Kingdom Of Heaven or Robin Hood,’ with Ridley immediately replying: ‘Sir, f*** you. F*** you.’    

He added: ‘Thank you very much. F*** you. Go f*** yourself, sir. Go on.’

The journalist did not appear offended by the remark, which he laughed off. 

Unimpressed: Days later Scott told a journalist to 'go f*** yourself' after he said The Last Duel is 'more realistic' than some of his previous work

Unimpressed: Days later Scott told a journalist to ‘go f*** yourself’ after he said The Last Duel is ‘more realistic’ than some of his previous work

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk