'Gemini Man' is pacing to be a huge box-office flop this weekend and lose the studio millions

Gemini Man ParamountParamount

  • Paramount's "Gemini Man" took in $1.6 million at Thursday night previews.
  • That puts its projection for the weekend at $24 million to $29 million, according to Variety.
  • It's a bad start for a movie made for $138 million.
  • The Will Smith action movie has been slaughtered by critics and only has a 28% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

It's not looking good for Will Smith's latest movie.

Paramount's "Gemini Man," the latest action movie from two-time Oscar-winning director Ang Lee ("Life of Pi," "Brokeback Mountain"), which stars Smith facing off with a younger version of himself, only brought in $1.6 million at Thursday night previews.

Weekend projections for the movie are around $24 million to $29 million on 3,642 screens, according to Variety.

For a movie that was made for $138 million (and millions more spent for marketing), Paramount and the other companies that ponied up money (Skydance Media, Fosun Pictures, and Alibaba) are looking at a major loss when box-office figures come in on Sunday.

Read more: "Gemini Man" was made in such a technically advanced way that zero theaters in the US can show it as intended

The project has a tattered history. The story was conceived in 1997 and kicked around in development for close to 20 years, going through the hands of stars like Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Sylvester Stallone. Then Lee came along, bringing Smith and a love for making films in a high frame rate that provides a sharp picture quality audiences rarely see.

The combination of a superstar like Smith working under the watch of an artist like Lee, with technology that would stretch the limits of CGI and how movies are seen, should have been a huge win. But that's clearly not the case.

No theater in the US can even play the movie as Lee intended and the story itself is so bad that critics are trashing it. "Gemini Man" has a Rotten Tomatoes critic score of 28%.

As Warner Bros. looks at a repeat weekend atop the domestic box office with "Joker," "Gemini Man" will be battling to get Paramount a second-place finish versus the other big new release, United Artists' animated "The Addams Family."

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