The Oscar-winner plays the English folk hero in Sir Ridley Scott's adaption of the classic tale, which also stars Cate Blanchett as Maid Marion.
The blockbuster includes a series of high-action scenes, in which hundreds of extras play out fight sequences - and Crowe admits many of the actors suffered for their art on the movie battlefield.
He tells Britain's Sunday Mirror newspaper, "We had 15 people carried off a battlefield at one point. One guy got his eye poked out with a pike. Another guy broke an arm and a leg falling off a horse. The scale of it is enormous... In this film you had 130 horses doing a full-speed gallop charge into 600 guys on the ground. Every man on a horse did half-a-dozen fight moves before spinning around and coming back."
And Crowe reveals director Scott took some risks himself - the moviemaker was heavily involved with the action sequences, even plunging into the sea during a beach battle scene to make sure the shot was perfect.
He adds, "Ridley jumped into the waves and grabbed this 15-ton barge with both hands, bum, knee and all, and starts trying to push it out of the shot. When it was clear he was not going to win his lone battle against the barge he looked back at the beach and said, 'Well, what are you waiting for?' That's leadership."
Paramount/Marvel’s “Iron Man 2” tops the chart for the second consecutive weekend, while Universal/Relativity Media’s “Robin Hood” took the worldwide crown with $111.1 million.
A very solid and better-than-expected debut for Universal’s “Robin Hood” with an impressive $36.1 million second place finish in North America and a worldwide box office total of $111.1 that put it on top in terms of the global marketplace. The themes of “steal from the rich, give to the poor” may have had particular resonance with audiences around the world as the economy continues to bring hard times to many folks.
A terrific marketing campaign and a great release date that perfectly bridges the gap between “Iron Man 2” and “Shrek Forever After” next week put Universal in perfect position to capitalize on the strength of the Russell Crowe/Ridley Scott collaboration.
Of course “Iron Man 2” was not to be outdone in the North American marketplace as it enjoyed a solid second weekend and took the top spot with $52 million in the domestic box office against a 59% drop (respectable considering the massiveness of its debut last weekend). The film is already at $211.2 million domestically after just 10 days of release. IMAX certainly is a key factor in the continued success of the film having contributed 8% of the box office (or $4.2 million in just 181 locations) to this weekend’s bottom line and an impressive $16.6 to the total domestic cumulative through Sunday.
At number three is Summit Entertainment’s lighthearted romance “Letters to Juliet” starring the Amanda Seyfried ("Mama Mia!," "Dear John," "Chloe"), "Juliet" earned a solid $13.5 million in its debut. The film also stars Vanessa Redgrave, Gael Garcia Bernal and of course the incredible scenery of the Italian countryside. This was a nice and light non-summer style film devoid of explosions, fist fights and shootings, and thus had obvious appeal to the sophisticated moviegoer.
Number four is also a newcomer as “Just Wright” from Fox Searchlight opens in just 1,831 theatres with $8.3 million and a per-theatre average of $4,525. An ensemble romantic comedy, “Just Wright” offered another alternative to the big-budget action films currently dominating the box-office derby.
Rounding out the top five is the ever-present “How to Train Your Dragon” with $5 million in its eighth weekend of release. Another minuscule 25% drop places its domestic total at an impressive $207.7 million and makes it one of the true winners of the spring into summer season as it simply refuses to slow down and move out of the way of the summer onslaught.
Another strong weekend that outpaced last year’s comparable frame by 4% keeps the summer vibe going as we head into next week when Paramount/DWA’s “Shrek Forever After” and Universal’s “MacGruber” hit theatres.
The Brit researched the folklore legend thoroughly before starting work on his new film with Russell Crowe and wants his film to open a fresh debate among historians about the outlaw.
He tells TV show Access Hollywood, "On this one (film), I wanted to go more real, because I really believe he existed. The ones (films) to date always treated Robin Hood like a myth, part of a fairy story.
"I never liked the green tights and I didn’t like the feather in the hat. It didn’t work for me. Even as a kid, it was not my idea of Robin Hood."
The action film opened this year's Cannes Film Festival in France on Wednesday (12May10).
Ridley Scott’s plodding pointless Robin Hood calls to mind a line from a stand-up routine (link NSFW) Patton Oswalt did a few years ago about George Lucas’ limp Star Wars prequels: “I don’t give a s**t where the stuff I love comes from. I just love the stuff I love.” Though there was never any discernible desire among filmgoers to know what the mythical medieval outlaw’s early days were like Scott nonetheless spent $230 million to tell us.
And so precious little of Robin Hood is devoted to all of the stuff we love about the title character — you know the stunning displays of archery skill the robbing from the rich and giving to the poor etc. Instead we're forced to watch as the future folk legend who begins the film as a lowly infantryman in King Richard’s crusading army engages in significantly less riveting endeavors like gambling with fellow soldiers in between sieges arguing against the killing of defenseless Muslims planting a wheat field just in time for the rainy season and debating the merits of the Magna Carta (which we learn through Scott’s usage of lame repressed-memory flashbacks that his father actually wrote).
Needless to say this isn’t Kevin Costner’s Robin Hood (which say what you will was at least entertaining) but a gritty period-authentic “real” take on the character absent all the usual Hollywood gloss and polish. Scott’s faux-revisionist approach calls for copious hand-held camera work a subdued color palette and various other cinematic devices (but no blood — this is PG-13 after all) meant to properly depict the nasty and brutish reality of existence in the early 13th century. Dirt and grime are omnipresent and all of the actors appear as if they haven’t bathed or shaved for days. Poor Cate Blanchett usually radiant even when dressed down looks positively ghastly as old Maid Marion.
For the lead role naturally Scott tabbed his trusty pal Russell Crowe the very embodiment of modern actorly grit who in Robin Hood perpetually bears the weathered sneer of a man awakened too early after a roaring bender. His principal adversary is not the Sheriff of Nottingham whose role is reduced to that of comic relief but Godfrey (Mark Strong) a scheming Rasputin-like advisor to the throne of England who secretly conspires to aid her greatest enemy France.
Unfortunately Robin and Godfrey share almost no screen time together draining much of the potential weight from their conflict. Their rivalry is mainly played out by proxy with a former royal functionary (William Hurt looking as lost and confused as we are) acting as a go-between while our Robin labors vainly to imbue a semblance of believability to his hasty courtship of recently-widowed Marion. His effort among other things involves an audacious narrative switcheroo reminiscent — I s**t you not — of this scene from the 2006 comedy Beerfest.
It goes without saying that drawing comparisons to a movie called Beerfest does not bode well for a serious-minded period epic. If there’s a silver lining to be drawn from Robin Hood it’s that the filmmakers mercifully chose not to release a 3D version of the film indicating that there was at least one kind soul at Universal Pictures who couldn’t bear the thought of some poor sap paying $19 to watch this medieval monstrosity.
The second official weekend of the summer is upon us as three wide release newcomers hit the marketplace and have to contend with the behemoth that is "Iron Man 2" in the wake of its $128.1 million opening weekend. Even if the film were to drop big (which with strong mid-weeks is unlikely), it would still be the odds on favorite to top the weekend. That said, Russell Crowe and Ridley Scott have teamed up yet again for Universal's "Robin Hood" which will bring out action seekers, "Gladiator" fans and those looking for a stylistic look at the legendary character. Opening in 3503 theatres, the film should do solid business for the period-piece action genre and offer audiences a decidedly retro-brand of action with bows and arrows rather than futuristic gadgetry. Director Ridley Scott always brings an incredible visual style to all of his movies and "Robin Hood" is no exception.
On the other side of the spectrum is the PG-Rated romance "Letters to Juliet" from Summit Entertainment. Starring the versatile Amanda Seyfried ("Mama Mia!," "Dear John," "Chloe"), "Juliet" is a quiet and non-cynical love letter of a movie that will appeal to older audiences and hopeless romantics everywhere with its classic tale of unrequited love and personal redemption. The film also stars Vanessa Redgrave, Gael Garcia Bernal and of course the incredible scenery of the Italian countryside which will have many booking their tickets as soon as they leave the theatre. For a nice and light non-summer style film devoid of explosions, fist fights and shootings, "Letters to Juliet" may offer the kind of counter-programming that will appeal to the sophisticated moviegoer.
Finally Fox Searchlight debuts "Just Wright" in a perfect 1,831 theatres to fill out this weekend's trio of wide release openers. A story of a physical therapist that falls for the basketball player she is helping recover from a career-threatening injury, this ensemble romantic comedy stars Queen Latifah, Common and Pam Grier. Urban audiences in particular and anyone looking for a fun date movie will make this their choice this weekend.
With Paramount/Marvel's "Iron Man 2" kicking butt and taking no prisoners after the fifth best opening weekend of all-time, it will take on all comers and likely come out on top. However, with three distinctive newcomers hitting the marketplace, there is literally something for every cinematic taste and that is what the summer movie season is all about. Last year's one-two punch of Sony's "Angels and Demons" and the second weekend of "Star Trek" created solid revenues for this, a typically transitional weekend at the summer box-office and we are looking for "Robin Hood" and "Iron Man 2" to give us the edge this year.
Crowe recently revealed he's taking his Robin Hood co-stars to Italy on vacation - and they plan to busk at one of the world's most romantic spots.
And the Oscar winner gave Access Hollywood presenter Tim Vincent a taste of the quartet's vocal skills when they agreed to sing for him at the end of a Cannes interview.
Crowe told Vincent he hopes their busking efforts in Italy are more successful than a recent "busk" in Antibes, France.
He said, "We busked in the streets. We went to a restaurant in Antibes and put on a show for the staff and the other patrons in the alleyway outside... We didn’t make a single franc."
Crowe and castmates-turned-bandmates Alan Doyle, Kevin Durand and Scott Grimes crooned a rendition of Sean Kingston’s Beautiful Girls for Access Hollywood.
The group was in Cannes for the world premiere of Robin Hood, which opened the film festival.
Prince Andrew, British monarch Queen Elizabeth II's second eldest son, visited the set of Sir Ridley Scott's film in Windsor Great Park - part of the royal family's land.
And Crowe, who plays Robin Hood, left his co-stars cringing when he threw a log prop at the prince to prove the royal heir is just a normal "bloke".
He tells Britain's Live magazine, "I'm happy he caught the log. It was an instinctive thing - it's like when you are playing sport. I threw it where he had the best possible chance of catching it. The thing is, if I'd thrown it too hard I'd have made a complete jerk of myself, and it wasn't about doing that.
"It was about showing a group of Englishmen, who were a little bit overawed with their prince being there, that's he's a bloke and is ready for a bit of fun."
And, after spending time with Andrew, Crowe admits he was impressed with the royal's sense of humour - especially after he relayed a tale of the advice his mother gave him before his trip to the set.
He adds, "I really liked him. He's smart, knowledgeable and very inquisitive. He told a funny story too. He said, 'I was having dinner with my mother, and I asked her if it was appropriate that I wear a suit when visiting the film set.'
"And his mother, who is the Queen after all, said, 'No Andrew, if you turn up in a suit people will think you're a ninny (fool).' Whatever I thought I knew about him changed completely. He was charming."
The Oscar winner had planned to treat his wife Danielle to a romantic vacation in the Italian capital once his promotional duties for Robin Hood were complete, and when his co-stars found out, they decided to join him.
Now, the break for two has become a group holiday centred around singing on the Spanish Steps.
Crowe, who fronted rock band Thirty Odd Foot of Grunts, reveals, "It's Danielle's birthday, so I was gonna have dinner with her in Rome and I told the Merry Men this and they were all like, 'That sounds like a lovely idea, Robin.' So, now I've got Little John (Kevin Durand) and Will Scarlet (Scott Grimes) and Alan A'Dayle (Alan Doyle) and their wives and girlfriends, they're all coming too.
"We thought while we're there we might just go and do a little busking on the Spanish Steps... I put it out on Twitter and we'll see how many people rock up to the Spanish Steps."
Scott's epic, starring Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett, is opening the annual movie event in France - but the filmmaker will not be present on the red carpet.
He underwent an operation on his knee recently and his recovery has been slower than expected - so doctors have ordered him to rest up and take time off from work.
He tells ETOnline.com, "It is with the most sincere regret that I am required to miss the opening night of the Cannes Film Festival and the screening of Robin Hood.
"I recently underwent knee replacement surgery and my recovery has been slower than I'd hoped. Truly, doctor's orders are the only thing that could keep me from being there.
"My disappointment is tempered by the fact that (producer) Brian (Grazer), Russell (Crowe), Cate (Blanchett) and the rest of the cast will be on hand to represent the film. I send them all my best wishes in opening this year's festival with our film."