’The Spacey effect’ appears to have done for ‘Billionaire Boys Club’ - though there’s more to the figures than meets the eye
It’s coming up to the anniversary of Kevin Spacey’s #metoo moment, with October marking a year since the award-winning star was accused by fellow actor Anthony Rapp of making a sexual adance toward him when Rapp was 14. This was followed by several other men making allegations, with Spacey’s rambling ‘apology’ - which might have worked in days gone by, but not now - being called out by the gay community.
Since then, it’s been a painful fall from grace, with Spacey quickly becoming persona non grata, with Netflix cutting all ties, his film Gore being shelved, his scenes in Ridley Scott’s All The Money in the World being cut, and one of his most iconic characters - Frank Underwood - being written out of the final season of House of Cards.
Now comes the final blow, with reports of shocking box office takings for Billionaire Boys Club, one of his final projects before the accusations were made.
The movie made just $126 in the US on Friday, and only $162 on Saturday.
Filming originally wrapped in January 2016, and the studio, Vertical Entertainment, made the decision to release anyway, saying:
“We don’t condone sexual harassment on any level and we fully support victims of it. At the same time, this is neither an easy nor insensitive decision to release this film in theatres, but we believe in giving the cast, as well as hundreds of crew members who worked hard on the film, the chance to see their final product reach audiences.”
However, as is often the case with these stories, the real reason for the low takings is more likely down to the fact the film, also starring Ansel Elgort, Emma Roberts and Taron Egerton, had already been release via Video on Demand on 17 July, while the cinematic release was limited to just ten theatres, mostly located in areas which were are not considered to be major markets and at inconvenient showtimes to boot: for example, the film’s only showing in Brooklyn’s Coney Island Avenue’s Kent Theater was at 10pm, while in Riverside, California, the film had only one showing on opening day at 9:30am.
Nonetheless, it will go down as the worst-ever opening for a film starring Spacey.
Critics haven’t been kind either, with the film scoring a Rotten Tomatoes score of just 11%, with one reviewer declaring: “Billionaire Boys Club would fail even if Kevin Spacey’s career hadn’t crashed.”