Until a recent Marvel movie people will see this weekend, my favorite movie of 2023 was, without a doubt, Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Thieves. I just couldn’t remember the last time I had so much fun at the movies. I liked everything and I was not the only one. Most reviewers loved the new Dungeons & Dragons movie, and most of the people who went to see it did too. But there’s a big problem: the audience that saw it wasn’t big enough.
Given how strong word of mouth was when it came out, I was a bit surprised when I found out that, despite being in theaters for over a month, honor among thieves didn’t even cross the $200 million mark at the worldwide box office. It’s just short of that number, and with the movie still technically in theaters, it could still crack it. But even then, a $200 million box office run is frustrating for a movie that was so good and had so much more to offer with potential. honor among thieves sequels that we probably won’t see now.
Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves Box Office Will Make Sequel Tough
In comparison to the rest of the new movie releases of 2023 so far, Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Thieves did well. It’s the number five movie worldwide and still in the top 10 domestically, but when you look at it in an absolute sense, the picture changes drastically. With an estimated $150 million pre-market budget, the film is far from breaking even, which is absolutely stunning for a film that has such a positive response from those who have seen it.
honor among thieves has a 90% critics score and a 93% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. In a place where audiences tell critics they’re out of touch and critics yell into the void about movies that audiences don’t care about, everyone who’s seen this movie seems to agree that it worth seeing.
But a $200 million box office doesn’t make a franchise. honor among thieves did less than half of what Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania brought, and this film received many mixed negative reviews. Even if the new D&D movie ultimately turns out to be profitable, it doesn’t seem like it’ll be enough to convince anyone that the world needs more.
Honor Among Thieves has been one of the most accessible blockbusters in years
It’s certainly true that it’s hard these days to make a movie unless it’s associated with some sort of popular IP. Audiences lament that it seems like every movie is a remake or reboot or based on a comic book, and we frequently hear calls for more original concepts. Well, that’s the dirty little secret of Dungeons & Dragons: it has a title that implies a connection with a greater media franchise, but everything is put in the service of a completely original story.
I have to assume that one of the reasons why honor among thieves didn’t become an overnight success, it was the fact that he had Dungeons & Dragons in its title. It’s a name many people know, but few understand directly. This may have resulted in an audience that felt the film was “not for them” because they didn’t understand D&D.
While it’s perhaps understandable that people might react this way, it’s incredibly frustrating because it’s clear that the honor among thieves The filmmakers went the extra mile to ensure the film was accessible to everyone. D&D, by its very nature, is actually a game about making whatever story you want, so there’s no lore or story that becomes necessary to understand the movie. If anything about D&D is potentially confusing, it’s the gameplay mechanics, which aren’t featured in the movie in any way.
honor among thieves requires no knowledge of Dungeons & Dragons. It’s a simple fantasy adventure with heroes, villains, magic and monsters. If you can grasp these concepts, you’re ready to relax and have an incredibly fun, amusing, exciting, and surprisingly heartfelt adventure.
Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves will be “discovered” on Paramount+
Not every great movie has been a box office hit. This was true when people found movies later on cable TV and VHS, and it still is today. I’m pretty confident the same thing will happen when Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Thieves is coming to Paramount+. We don’t know exactly when that will be, but with the theatrical release winding down, it could only be a few weeks away.
People are going to open their Paramount+ subscriptions, see the movie, and recognize it as something that might have been fun when they saw the trailer online, and then finally try it out. Then we’ll find social media full of people who are shocked that this movie didn’t do better because it’s actually a lot of fun, and they can’t believe no one told them it was good (spoiler : everyone told them it was good).
If this happens enough, it could potentially revive the prospects of Dungeons & Dragons in franchise. Something similar happened when Encanto went viral on Disney+ after having a pretty poor theatrical run. It now seems almost certain that we will have more Encanto Disney content in one form or another, but it seems likely that J&D will need a similar popular response to have a chance at future life.
I will definitely remain hopeful. I will beat the drum for Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Thieves as the best movie of the year that you probably haven’t seen until you see it and have to admit I’m right. The movie is still in theaters, so you have a chance to help reverse this terrible situation if you hurry and do it soon.
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