One of the many big questions in this post-Me Too era is: are we allowed to consume the content created by sexual offenders? While that’s being largely decided on a case-by-case basis, the open market gave a pretty definitive answer on Kevin Spacey this weekend when his latest movie made $126 on its opening day and only $618 over its opening weekend. Not $126 million. Not $126,000. That’s one-hundred and twenty-six American dollars flat. Ironically, the film is titled Billionaire Boys Club. (Pause for laughter).
Admittedly, the film was only screened in 11 theatres across the United States, was released on video on demand last month and has been met with some pretty abysmal reviews. Not a great recipe for success, but Spacey was third-billed after Ansel Elgort and Taron Egerton and the movie had a stacked supporting cast including Emma Roberts, Cary Elwes, Jeremy Irvine, Judd Nelson and Billie Lourd.
After Spacey was accused of sexually assaulting multiple young men over his career last year, a number of his projects were scrapped, recast or had him written out (looking at you, House of Cards). Billionaire Boys Club wrapped before the allegations broke and filmmakers opted to release it anyway with the Spacey role intact. In a statement to USA Today, the film’s distributor, Vertical Entertainment, explained that while they don’t condone the harassment, they wanted to let the audiences decide for themselves whether or not to see the film.
“We don’t condone sexual harassment on any level and we fully support victims of it,” the statement reads, “At the same time, this is neither an easy nor insensitive decision to release this film in theaters. … In the end, we hope audiences make up their own minds as to the reprehensible allegations of one person’s past, but not at the expense of the entire cast and crew present on this film.”
The statement hits on an important question: is boycotting an entire movie that hundreds of people worked on because of one individual a misguided protest? In cases such as this one, are we hurting those who worked with Spacey more than we are hurting Spacey himself?
The jury is still out on that one (and will most likely be hung forever).
😂😂😂 $126 only? I feel terrible for the producers 😩 https://t.co/ev53tdNge7
— Adam (@ChaseAdamzz) August 18, 2018
All that money invested, all that hard work from the crew and the other actors for nothing….
— Anniwaa Buachie (@AnniwaaBuachie) August 18, 2018
One hundred and twenty six DOLLARS. I predict that Kevin Spacey’s career is officially dead. https://t.co/TeZI8ArMq1
— Kimmie Q (@delicateflower1) August 18, 2018
While the Spacey movie was tanking this weekend, another film was killin’ it at the box office. Crazy Rich Asians – the first movie to be made with an all-Asian cast in 25 years – beat out action films The Meg and Mile 22 to take the top-earning spot with a $25.2 million opening weekend. According to The New York Times, the last time a PG-13-rated rom com did that was Think Like a Man (a movie with an all-black primary cast) in 2012.
Great job voting with your wallets this weekend, people.
Too bad movies with Asian leads can’t open number one at the box office. Oh wait. That’s right they can. And they have been for years. This right here is much more than a film. It’s a movement. And it has only just begun! 😎✊️ #CrazyRichAsians pic.twitter.com/EvfLoMDNOt
— Jon Lee Brody (@JonLeeBrody) August 19, 2018
Sitting here on my couch w/ my family watching cartoons, reading abt the awesome box office results of #crazyrichasians (which I saw for the 2nd time last night w/ my wife), and I’m getting emotional thinking abt how my kids will grow up in an America where Asians are celebrated.
— Mike Moh (@mikemoh) August 19, 2018
Everyone, do yourself a favor, go see this superbly made romantic-comedy! With a stellar cast, headlined by the incredible & exquisitely talented @ConstanceWu, dashing & charming @henrygolding, and living-goddess Michelle Yeoh! THANK YOU, @jonmchu, you had me at laksa and durian!
— James Wan (@creepypuppet) August 19, 2018