Kevin Spacey's 'Billionaire Boys Club’ Bombs at Box Office
Over the past year, we have seen the sheer power of the #MeToo movement.
From toppling Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein to taking down U.S. Senator Al Franken, the enough-is-enough approach to sexual harassment and misconduct has been far-reaching. It has shaped the conversation around what is acceptable behavior and has brought awareness to a culture of sexual misconduct from entertainment to politics.
But perhaps the exclamation point on the #MeToo movement occurred over the weekend, when “The Billionaire Boys Club” got its theatrical debut. The new film, which stars Kevin Spacey alongside an ensemble cast, earned just $126 on opening day. That’s right. That’s not a typo — only $126 on Friday.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, it reported another $162 in box office receipts on Saturday, for a two-day gross of $288. It finished its opening weekend a little stronger, though; It closed out the weekend with a total box office take of $618.
I don’t suppose it needs to be said, but that is astonishingly bad.
Now, to be fair, it only played in 11 theaters across the U.S. But, as has been noted, if the average ticket price to see a movie in 2018 is $9.27, that means that only about six people saw it at each theater, on average. Not each showing, each theater. As in, six people, all weekend.
As you’ll recall, Kevin Spacey got caught up in the #MeToo movement last October, when the first of more than a dozen men accused Spacey of fondling, groping or sexually assaulting him. The allegations, spanning more than three decades, prompted Spacey to publicly acknowledge that he is gay — as well as to offer the least impressive mea culpa in recorded history.
“I honestly do not remember the encounter, it would have been over 30 years ago,” Spacey tweeted. “But if I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior.”
It should also be noted that Spacey’s first accuser, actor Anthony Rapp, was 14 at the time of the alleged abuse. Spacey was 26.
And the rest, as they say, is history. In the following weeks, Netflix fired the star from “House of Cards,” and Ridley Scott managed to replace Spacey with Christopher Plummer in “All the Money in the World.”
The film, you may remember, had already been shot. Yet Scott may have avoided the fate of “The Billionaire Boys Club” by re-shooting all of Spacey’s scenes, using Plummer instead — and he did it in time for a Christmas Day release.
In hindsight, that seems like it was a smart move on Scott’s part. Opening weekend, “All the Money in the World” took in about $5.6 million.
In fairness to the makers of “The Billionaire Boys Club,” the film was shot about two and a half years ago — well before Spacey’s fall from grace. In a statement announcing the release of the film, the movie’s distributor, TGV Pictures said: “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 theaters, 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.”
Perhaps they did. And perhaps they’re the only ones who did.
— Originally Published in the Las Cruces Sun-News, 08/23/18