To call the box office debut of “The Rhythm Section” a disappointment is a gross understatement. While the official results are still not released, the film is estimated to have earned a paltry $2.8 million over its first three days over the past weekend. To put that in perspective, that debut is the single-worst for a film that opened on more than 3,000 screens. Basically, the film, distributed by Paramount, had arguably the worst debut for any major film ever.
But according to a new report from Deadline, the producers of “The Rhythm Section” aren’t too pleased with the box office result but are still proud, nonetheless.
For those that didn’t check out the film this weekend (and that’s probably most of you), the film stars Blake Lively as a young woman that becomes a de facto spy on a revenge mission after learning that the plane crash that killed her family was the result of a bomb and not mechanical failure. “The Rhythm Section” marks the third feature (but first blockbuster) directed by Reed Morano. It was produced by Eon Productions, led by Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson, the folks who produce all the James Bond films.
In a statement given to Deadline, the producers said, “We are obviously disappointed with the box office, but proud of Reed and our movie and the overwhelmingly positive reaction to Blake’s performance.”
As pointed out in my review, the film isn’t your typical spy thriller, completely removing itself from the conversation by subverting most of the tropes found in films like “Mission: Impossible” and the ‘Bond’ franchise. While the closest comparison could be with the ‘Bourne’ series, “The Rhythm Section” is still very much almost an anti-spy thriller. This made it a tough sell for Paramount.
Unfortunately, according to the report, the film could lose as much as $30 million for the studio, and plans for a larger international release could be scrapped, with “The Rhythm Section” getting a direct-to-video release in some overseas territories. Also, the report goes into detail about how the film seemed to have a troubled post-production that was more than just the injury to Lively, but instead, was a bit of a clash between producers and filmmakers around what “The Rhythm Section” should be.
Long story short, it sounds as if Paramount spent money on a film it thought was going to be “Female James Bond” and instead bought the rights to a slow-burn character study with very little action. Either way, “The Rhythm Section” seems to have earned a place in the “Biggest Bombs of 2020” discussion, which is already starting to become crowded, thanks to “Dolittle” and the string of horror misses.