Billionaire Boys Club's abysmal box office opening proves Kevin Spacey's career might be over
The decision to theatrically release Billionaire Boys Club, a film featuring Kevin Spacey, would always be a risky proposition post the actor’s fall from grace in October 2017 after actor Anthony Rapp accused him of making a sexual advance when Rapp was 14. Since then there have also been 14 more people who have come out and accused the actor of sexual misconduct. Unlike Ridley Scott, who chose to replace Spacey with Christopher Plummer in All the Money in the World just weeks before the film’s release or Netflix, the producers of Billionaire Boys Club opted to wait for a few months and release the film accompanied with an emotional plea. They urged cinema-goers to not judge the film that was made by the hardworking hundreds of talented people and, if not Spacey, they surely deserved a shot.
The film witnessed one of the worst openings ever. With a mere $618, it has registered a new low for not just theatrically released films but also for Spacey, who might not be able to now ever stake a claim to a possible comeback. The #MeToo and #TimesUp campaigns saw the alleged pasts of many high-profile men in the entertainment industry such as Harvey Weinstein, John Lasseter, Brett Ratner and Charlie Rose finally catch up and how. While Weinstein became the ‘face to be shamed’ of the movement, Spacey’s career suffered the most unexpected blow. He tried to ‘salvage’ some of the fallout by also choosing to come out as gay after the Rapp accusation but it did not change much.
There has been some speculation that much like Jeffrey Tambor, who was also accused of inappropriate behaviour and initiated a return after a gap of six to eight months, Spacey, too, could have ‘sat’ it out for a bit. What made all the difference was the manner in which Scott re-shot all of Spacey’s scenes with Plummer and showed it to the world that a change could be instituted if one desired. The fate of the high-profile project was hanging by a thin rope but once Plummer stepped in, Spacey’s absence was barely noticed. In hindsight, Scott’s decisions to replace Spacey now seems like the very thing that saved All the Money in the World from suffering the same fate as Billionaire Boys Club.
Billionaire Boy’s Club could be the last theatrical release that Spacey ever features in. Moreover, it also joins the list of forgettable films like ZYZZYX ROAD, Intervention and Playback to name a few that had an exceptionally pathetic run at the box office. Like Billionaire Boys Club, Intervention had respectable names like Andie MacDowell and Jennifer Tilly attached to them but no one was intrigued by this psychological drama and it played at one theatre in the entire world where it made all of $279. Once upon a time, Christian Slater could attract the audiences but in Playback, he failed miserably and the film’s theatrical collection of just $264 is a testimony to that.
More than anything else, what Billionaire Boys Club’s abysmal box office run tells us is that the audience has given its judgment on all things Kevin Spacey. There is a possibility that had Spacey not been ousted from All the Money in the World, things might not have been so bad. Of course, the film might or might not have done as well when one takes into consideration the presence of Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Williams in the film or who knows had Gore been streamed on Netflix, it might have managed to get some more eyeballs than Billionaire Boys Club. But this was a film where the only star or marquee name was Spacey and the fact that hardly anyone turned up suggests that when it comes to their support for #MeToo and #TimeUp, the general audience does not seem to be the kind who would forget so soon.
Updated Date: Sep 02, 2018 12:23:56 IST