Hopes were high for ‘Gemini Man’. It was crafted by one of the most respected directors in Hollywood, Ang Lee, and starred Will Smith, one of the biggest movie stars in the world, in a dual role. But the high-tech wizardry of creating a 100% CGI young Will Smith didn’t dazzle in this day and age when similar tech was used to craft an entire performance by the late Peter Cushing in ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’, and like… the entire ‘Lion King’ movie. Beyond that gimmick, there didn’t seem to be much to appeal to audiences, as the action sequences in the ads were pretty by the numbers.
And speaking of numbers, it is now estimated that ‘Gemini Man’ will lose about $75 million during its theatrical run. Its production budget is believed to have been $138M, plus approximately $100M spent on advertising. In the U.S., the movie made $20.5M on its opening weekend, and came in third after ‘Joker’, which was in its second frame, and ‘The Addams Family’. In its second weekend, it made only $8.5M… yep, already in the single digits. That brings its domestic total to only $36M after two weekends. It has gotten poor reviews– 25% on Rotten Tomatoes, a career-worst for Lee– so that has impacted its performance.
Hopes that it would be salvaged by the foreign box office look to have been dashed this past weekend when it only made $21M in China on its opening weekend and came in second behind ‘Maleficent: Mistress of Evil’. One silver lining is that the expense was spread between Paramount, Skydance Media, and two Chinese companies.
In addition to the CGI effects that created the young Smith, Lee is a big proponent of 3D and shooting in a high frames-per-second format. He experimented with that while making the drama ‘Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk’, another flop. Many audiences simply don’t like this way of shooting. Lee struck 3D gold with ‘The Life of Pi’, but that was in 2012. Audiences seem to have lost interest in 3D. Only 25% of foreign ticket sales came from 3D screens. (Numbers aren’t available for U.S. sales.)
Paramount and Skydance have another splashy sci-fi extravaganza headed to theaters in a couple of weeks–‘Terminator: Dark Fate’. Hopefully, this won’t follow the same path.
Did you catch ‘Gemini Man’? If so, what did you think?
Source: The Hollywood Reporter