Double the Will Smith is, it would look, not a recipe for box office victory, as Gemini Man is set to be a massive box office. Led by Ang Lee, the action flick sees a hitman, performed by Smith, who winds up entangled in a battle with a younger version of himself. Fancy & costly de-aging technology was employed to bring this film to life, and, sadly, for investors, moviegoers were not as interested in this gimmick as expected. As such, it is supposed to lose around $75 million.
This happens after a second-weekend tumble at the box office. Gemini Man earned just $8 million in its second frame domestically, while taking a 59 percent tumble internationally as well. Even in China, where the film was expected to do pretty well, it started with a less-than-stellar $21 million, almost losing the weekend to Disney’s Maleficent: Mistress of Evil. All told, the film has brought in $118.7 million and, considering its amazingly steep $140 million movie budget, plus the $100 million marketing use, and Paramount is not going to get close to profit on this one.
There are many factors at play here. Had this been a mid-budget action affair, similar to something like John Wick, this could have possibly been a decent hit. But that huge budget is genuinely prohibitive. Not only did Ang Lee employ the costly, high-tech de-aging technology, but the two-time Oscar-winning director also shot the film at a huge frame rate, which is something he earlier experimented with on Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. It should be noticed that it was also an expensive flop movie.
Interestingly, as was a subject of much debate ahead of the release, no cinemas in the United States were provided to screen Gemini Man the way Ang Lee intended, since the technology he used to shoot it was, itself, pretty far ahead of the curve. All of that technology could not bail out the story in the eyes of many critics, as the actioner boasts just a 25 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Though, the viewer’s rating sits at a much better 84 percent.
It’s value noting that Skydance put up 35 percent of the funds alongside Paramount, with two China-based firms, Alibaba and Fosun, overlooking the other 30 percent. So that $75 million loss will be divided by different parties, making it a recoverable failure. Will Smith, who also starred as Genie in Disney’s Aladdin sequel, which went on to gross more than $1 billion at the world box office. Smith will be seen in Bad Boys for Life, which released in January. Meantime, Ang Lee, who won the Oscar award for his work on Brokeback Mountain and Life of Pi, will need to bounce back. This report comes to us via The Hollywood Reporter.
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