Don’t call it a comeback. Kevin Spacey’s first time back in theaters since all of those sexual misconduct allegations was far, far from it. His new movie, “Billionaire Boys Club,” opened to just $126 on Friday after being previously released on VOD. It’s a career low for the disgraced actor
While it did only release in 10 theaters across the United States (and not in LA or NY), that still amounts to less than $13 per theater. And if any had multiple screenings the average comes to less than one ticket per screening.
No matter how it’s cut, it’s not flattering for anyone involved in the movie, and indicates audiences are far from ready to embrace Spacey again.
The former “House of Cards” star does not appear on the film’s promotional materials, and plays a supporting role to stars Ansel Elgort, Taran Egerton and Jeremy Irvine. The film also stars Emma Roberts, Cary Elwes, Judd Nelson, Billi Lourd and Suki Waterhouse, but it’s Spacey’s continued presence that has dominated the media conversation about the film.
Spacey has denied all of the allegations brought against him, which started when actor Anthony Rapp accused him in October 2017 of making sexual advances toward him when he was just 14 years old. Since then, more than two dozen men have come forward with similar allegations. Spacey has denied all of them, but retreated from the public eye to seek unspecified treatment.
At the time of the allegations, the film’s distributor, Vertical Entertainment, released a statement that the movie would release as filmed. “We hope these distressing allegations pertaining to one person’s behavior — that were not publicly known when the film was made almost two-and-a-half years ago and from someone who has a small, supporting role in ‘Billionaire Boys Club’ — does not tarnish the release of the film.”
While it’s not entirely clear if it did, it certainly didn’t help. Early VOD releases always hurt box office results, and certainly its 13 percent approval rating (based on eight reviews) on Rotten Tomatoes isn’t doing “Billionaire Boys Club” any favors, either.
Director Ridley Scott made the notable decision to remove Spacey from the already-filmed “All the Money in the World,” replacing him with actor Christopher Plummer, who earned an Oscar nomination for his few days of work doing those reshoots. But it was a costly endeavor on a big-budget picture, and that isn’t the case here, so recasting may not have been an option.
While Spacey has no future projects in development, he has completed work on a Gore Vidal biopic that was intended for release on Netflix. When the streaming service fired him from “House of Cards,” it also shelved the film and it is unclear if it will be released.
“Billionaire Boys Club” is currently in select theaters nationwide, but don’t expect that to be the case for long.