'Gemini Man' To Suffer $75 Million Loss
Hollywoodreporter.com: Not even an Oscar-winning director and one of the world's most popular actors could save Gemini Man from getting bumped off at the box office.
Ang Lee's VFX-heavy film, starring Will Smith, faces losses of $75 million or more after opening to $20.5 million domestically over the Oct. 11-13 frame and finishing Sunday with an anemic worldwide total of $118.7 million, according to sources and box office analysts. Hopes were high that Gemini Man would make up ground and open to strong numbers in China. Instead, it launched to just $21 million over the weekend, coming in behind Maleficent: Mistress of Evil ($22.4 million) in a surprise upset.
The silver lining: The loss will be spread between David Ellison's Skydance Media, Paramount Pictures and two China-based companies, Fosun and Alibaba. The pic — which features Smith as an elite assassin who faces off against his younger self — cost roughly $140 million to produce after tax rebates and incentives, in addition to a $100 million-plus marketing spend.
Leading up to its release, Gemini Man sparked headlines across the globe for Lee's use of groundbreaking de-aging and high frame rate technology, but Paramount and Skydance knew they were in trouble in late September when reviews started pouring in and prerelease tracking stalled. While praising the film's technological prowess, critics slammed the story, resulting in a career-worst Rotten Tomatoes score of 25 percent for Lee.
Paramount and Skydance each put up 35 percent of the budget (the former's losses could be minimized when recouping its distribution fee). Fosun, which is distributing Gemini Man in China, has a 25 percent stake, followed by 5 percent for Alibaba, according to sources.
A Hollywood event pic packed with action can often overcome a soft performance in North America by pulling in big numbers overseas. Through Sunday, however, Gemini Man's foreign tally stood at an underwhelming $82.2 million. Internationally, it grossed $33.4 million in its second weekend in wide release, a steep 59 percent decline.
The film likewise tumbled 59 percent in North America in its sophomore outing, collecting $8.5 million for a 10-day domestic total of $36.5 million.