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Monday, October 25, 2021

‘Green Knight’ Gets U.K. Theatrical Run and Streaming Deal With Amazon (EXCLUSIVE)

David Lowery’s “The Green Knight” is finally coming to the U.K., with a day-and-date release planned for Sept. 24 in movie theaters and on Amazon Prime Video, Variety can reveal.

This will be good news for Dev Patel fans in the U.K. hoping to see the British actor on the big screen in Lowery’s dark Arthurian tale, who were left in the lurch in July when the movie was suddenly pulled from its Aug. 6 theatrical slot.

The A24 film, which received glowing reviews from critics, opened as planned in the U.S. on July 30 with a respectable domestic haul of $6.78 million, but to date, its disrupted opening across the pond had been shrouded in confusion among audiences and disdain from exhibitors baffled by Entertainment Film Distributors’ decision to yank the pic just weeks out from its release, citing COVID concerns.

Variety understands discussions have been ongoing over the last month, with A24 keen for the film to have some sort of theatrical outing. Entertainment Film stepped up to the plate and will release “Green Knight” alongside Amazon.

While exhibitors feared the worst — “I think ‘Green Knight’ is gone and lost forever,” lamented one senior exhibition source recently — the deal is a compromise that reflects the state of moviegoing in pandemic times.

The U.K., despite opening borders to visitors from the U.S. and Europe earlier this summer, is still battling fluctuating caseloads of COVID-19. When it was revealed that Entertainment had pulled “Green Knight’s” initial August theatrical outing, there were more than 40,000 new cases a day. The levels declined going into August, but have again picked up in recent weeks, though they’re still not at the levels of late July and January.

While declining cases haven’t been enough to prevent movies like “The Duke,” Roger Michell’s arty drama starring Jim Broadbent and Helen Mirren, from splitting from its Sept. 3 release and pushing into 2022, as confirmed by Variety, movie theaters are slowly grinding back into business.

Patel’s last movie to open in the U.K. was “The Personal History of David Copperfield,” which saw the Oscar-nominated “Lion” actor in the titular role. The pic released in January 2020, well before Britain’s mid-March lockdown, and drew $2 million before going on to gross $8.4 million. (It pulled in $14.3 million worldwide.)

“The Green Knight,” sees yet another chapter open up for the Harrow-born actor, who plays one of his most important roles to date — a star performance by many accounts as knight Gawain. Variety critic Owen Gleiberman praised the indie film as a “somberly majestic medieval death trip,” that occasionally baffled but was ultimately engaging and accessible.

The movie has grossed $18.2 million worldwide so far.

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