Gemini Man directed by Ang Lee and starring Will Smith is set to lose $75 million due to its disappointing box office numbers. The action thriller caught a fair amount of hype prior to its release, as Lee integrated de-aging and high frame rate technology, on full display when one watches the trailer, in the form of an older Will Smith and one who's a lot younger. The premise for the film presents Smith as an elite assassin who must face off against his younger self.
It has to be said though that even with critics praising the way the film turned out visually, and how Lee possibly changed the landscape for technological advancement with the project, the studio suspected that things might be in trouble with this release as bad reviews started to roll out and the pre-release numbers from around the globe started to come in. Of course, it didn't help things to be slated for release a week after one of the highest-grossing films of 2019, Todd Phillips' Joker.
According to THR, Lee's action thriller starring Smith, Clive Owen and Mary Elizabeth Winstead, faces a loss of $75 million or more "after opening to $20.5 million domestically" and finishing this past Sunday with "an anemic worldwide total of $118.7 million." The studio had hopes that the film would excel overseas and open to strong numbers in China, but "it launched to just $21 million over the weekend," losing out to Maleficent: Mistress of Evil.
THR also reports that the film cost roughly $140 million to produce and also cost almost $100 million for its marketing campaign, so with a low performance at the box office, it's really no wonder the studios behind Gemini Man are feeling this loss on such a massive level. Unfortunately, this isn't the first time that one of Lee's films opened to abysmal numbers across all markets. His film Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, which hit theaters in 2016, was another film that used high frame rate technology and it "topped out at only $31 million worldwide."
With Lee being an Oscar-winning director - he won Best Director for Brokeback Mountain and Life of Pi - and his love for upping things in the technological and 3D world with his films, sometimes projects just aren't going to deliver what they're expected to at the box office for any number of reasons. Considering his track record, Ang Lee will likely go on to direct many more films in his career that see both box office success as well as critical acclaim. The same can likely be said for Smith, who's undoubtedly hoping Gemini Man is just a Wild Wild West-style brief bump in the road.