Reed Morano’s action drama “The Rhythm Section” made box office history over its debut weekend, but not in a good way for Paramount Pictures. The $50 million production opened January 31 in 3,049 theaters and grossed just $2.8 million over its first three days, marking the worst box office opening in history for a title playing in over 3,000 theaters. Deadline estimates “The Rhythm Section” will lose Paramount as much as $30 million. The film follows Universal’s “Doolittle” as one of the first major bombs of 2020. The film had the backing of James Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson of Eon, who reacted to the poor box office by trying to find the silver lining.
“We are obviously disappointed with the box office,” the Eon producers said to Deadline, “but we’re proud of Reed and our movie and the overwhelmingly positive reaction to Blake’s performance.”
While reviews for “The Rhythm Section” were mostly negative (the film has a 32% Rotten Tomatoes score from 115 reviews), IndieWire’s Kate Erbland was more positive in her B-grade review. “Star Blake Lively continues to be an underrated onscreen chameleon in Reed Morano’s chilly actioner,” Erbland writes. “Lively makes off with one of her best performances ever, and one that makes an unexpected case for giving the actress a real action franchise next time around…Lively throws herself into the role with real gusto.”
IndieWire’s box office expert reported on “The Rhythm Section’s” disastrous opening in this weekend’s box office report, writing, “These figures are awful. The movie, which was not widely screened by Paramount, was in 3,049 theaters, which makes the average per $918. That means based on average ticket price fewer than 100 customers bought tickets over more than three days, in most theaters, over 15 showings. That’s the performance of a film in the last stage of its run.”
Next up for Eon is the release of “No Time to Die,” the 25th entry in the James Bond film franchise and the fifth and final outing for leading star Daniel Craig. The film is set for a domestic release April 8. “The Rhythm Section” is now playing nationwide, although it will most likely struggle to hold screens considering its low opening and C+ CinemaScore.