Will Smith’s Gemini Man still hasn’t made its budget back at the box office. The new Ang Lee film was set to take audiences on a journey into the latest possibilities in cinema, but so far several substantial obstacles have marred the experience.
For starters, because of its high frame rate – Gemini Man was shot at 120 frames per second – the best possible viewing experience relies on a specific theatrical setup in order to screen it. As it turns out, very few theaters are actually equipped to screen the film at 120 FPS as Lee had intended it to be seen. In addition to this setback, Gemini Man utilizes a de-aging visual effect technique that showcases a present day Will Smith doing battle with a cloned version of his 23-year-old self. Though the effects used in this process aren’t the same as the de-aging process utilized in Martin Scorsese’s upcoming The Irishman, Gemini Man’s de-aging effects are still impressive, though nowhere quite as impressive as Scorsese’s film. The Irishman’s de-aging effects were revealed just before Gemini Man’s release, which arguably stole the latter film’s thunder.
Furthermore, Gemini Man had the misfortune of debuting on the same weekend as Todd Phillips’ Joker, which has dominated the box office thus far. Exactly how bad things are for Gemini Man is gradually becoming clearer, however, as Box Office Mojo reports that after two weeks in theaters, the film has still not made back its budget. The $138 million sci-fi action thriller has, to date, brought in a rather meager $36 million domestically.
Starring Will Smith as an assassin working for the U.S. government, Gemini Man imagines a scenario in which the soon to be retired Smith learns that he is being stalked by a killer with a very familiar set of skills. As it turns out, the assassin in question is a cloned version of Smith in his early twenties. The tension mounts as the elder Smith character fights to evade assassination and attempts to make the cloned version of himself learn from a life (and mistakes) already lived. It’s more than a little strange to see a film made by an Oscar-winning director like Lee and starring a box office favorite like Smith not do well. The film seemed to have everything going for it on paper, but the end results do not appear to be hitting anywhere near the mark that was clearly expected for it.
As grim as things may appear to be right now, all hope is not lost for Gemini Man. The film may have brought in paltry box office numbers domestically, but its international numbers have yet to be tallied. The film has only just been widely released in China, and its Japan release is still several days away. Hopefully those markets will help buoy the film’s current status. Of course, filmmaking is always fraught with risk, and sometimes even the most well planned and constructed films like Gemini Man just don’t receive the sort of boost necessary to survive.
Source: Box Office Mojo