The movie was thought to be a blockbuster but it became a bust.
"Gemini Man" had the recipe for a successful film that should've been a huge money maker in the box office. With a leading superstar in Will Smith, a brilliant director in Ang Lee, and a great story written by two heavyweight screenwriters, David Benioff (Game of Thrones) and Darren Lemke (Shrek Forever After, Shazam!.), how could it not do well?
The film is about a retiring assassin, Henry Brogan, who finds himself being pursued by a killer that knows his every move. He later discovers that the killer is a younger clone of himself.
Sounds like a great story right? In hindsight, yes. With an all star cast, a superstar leading man whom we all love, a great production team, it sounds like box office gold but unfortunately the majority of movie goers passed on it.
According to THR, the VFX movie made $25 million domestically opening weekend and only $118.7 million worldwide. The problem here? It cost an estimated $140 million to produce and $100 million-plus was spent in marketing.
The film is currently at a $75 million loss, a staggering amount for a film that was supposed to do double.
You would think having a big name like Will Smith would translate to ticket sales but it didn't and to be honest, I'm not surprised.
Box office success seems to only have room for two types of films -- Marvel superhero or a film that's relates to what's happening in society today. Whether that be political issues, culture, or life in general. Sure, there are the occasional action films that do well but even that's scarce.
Gemini Man missed the mark entirely and it proves what I felt all along -- movies that don't fit any of the criteria above, even with a superstar, just won't resonate with the audience. We're in a new phase of Hollywood where "big names" don't drive the film's success anymore. Movie studios can't and shouldn't rely on them to bring in the big bucks like it used to. Furthermore, if they're relying on social media as their barometer to whether a movie does well or not, movie, they're in for a rude awakening.
Following a star, or having them trend on social media is completely different from making a movie with them. Let's use music as an analogy -- just because someone has a million plus followers on social media doesn't mean their music will sell if you sign them to your label. People know the difference between trends and actual good content. The social media method doesn't work here.
Nowadays, the audience crave for films with substance or if it triggers a memory for them. Gemini Man did neither.
The feedback I've gotten from people who did go see it was either, "it was meh", "nothing special", "the visuals are cool but everything else sucked." Ouch.
Clearly, the days of depending on big names are over, the days of actually having a great show/movie are here. The audience have become a lot smarter and can read through the BS being given to them, a big change from the old days.
But this is how it should've always have been.