Deadline says that The Rhythm Section, which stars a butch Timothee Chalamet-looking Blake Lively as an assassin, had issues from the jump off. Last April, Paramount didn’t include the movie in its CinemaCon reel which showed off their upcoming big movies. Like Terminator: Dark Fate–which also bombed. Paramount is set to lose between $30 to $40 million on this movie and the overseas launch is not guaranteed. They’re thinking of skipping an overseas launch and sending it direct to streaming.
The movie was getting some initial buzz as a female version of James Bond and was produced by Eon’s Barbara Broccoli who runs the Bond franchise. But word is things went left after a change in leadership at production company IM Global. This led to the movie getting less money than the previous boss, Stuart Ford, had promised. Also terrible: the script.
Mark Burnell wrote the screenplay which was based on a book he wrote, and allegedly it “always had problems.” There was also a miscommunication on the theme of the film as Eon had pitched it as “a slow burn, noirish Euro thriller” but Paramount did not see it that way and wanted Lady Bond. In post-production, producers, director Reed Morano, and Blake Lively clashed over what the final product should be. The movie’s release date got pushed twice, first from February 22, 2019 to November 22 and then again to last week. But apparently the last release push had to do with Blake giving birth to her third baby.
While the reviews say it’s a shit movie, Blake is getting good feedback. And yet, it’s Blake’s lowest movie opening–earning $2.8 million on a $50 million budget. She also hurt her knuckle during filming, which interrupted shooting for six whole months. Not to mention, the pain of wearing that busted wig!
Barbara and her co-producer Michael Wilson gave a statement on the movie to Deadline:
“We are obviously disappointed with the box office, but proud of Reed and our movie and the overwhelmingly positive reaction to Blake’s performance.”
Deadline heard that a test screening in 2018 was one of the “worst-tested titles” ever for Paramount. RelishMix, who tracks entertainment social media analytics, said of the movie:
“What Rhythm Section lacks is the dazzling partnership or spot that has galvanized fans… Discussion on social for this movie leaned negative, as the overall sentiment reflects an audience that has seen the “bad-ass chick” before, and there is little to nothing new here.”
Nothing new? I’ll give you new: merge the two huge movie bombs of recent memory into one! The Rhythm Section and Cats becomes: The Kitten Section. A movie where–after everyone she knows has died or gone to the Heaviside Layer–Victoria goes on a mission to murder the human family who abandoned her in that alley in the first place and triggered her sad life. It will also be a musical with the exact same digital effects but there will be action sequences and murder. If that doesn’t capture audiences attention, I don’t know what will!