ABC News Breakfast /
August 20, 2018 /
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Actor Kevin Spacey’s fall from public favour has been confirmed after his latest film reportedly brought in a measly $US425 at the US box office on its opening weekend.
Billionaire Boys Club was among the last productions to feature Spacey before a slew of sexual assault allegations were made against the two-time Oscar winner as the #MeToo movement swept Hollywood.
The film was initially released on the US Video On Demand service in July before rolling out in just eight cinemas last weekend, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
It was also a career-low opening day for Spacey of just $US126 — an enormous drop from his previous film, Baby Driver, which brought in $US20.5 million on its opening weekend.
The allegations of sexual assault or misconduct against Spacey first surfaced in October last year.
Actor Anthony Rapp told Buzzfeed he was invited to a party at Spacey’s apartment in 1986 when he was just 14 and said Spacey, then 26, put him on his bed and climbed on top of him at the end of the night.
Spacey tweeted an apology to Rapp, which served to cause its own controversy, and since then a number of other accusers have come forward.
Why still release the film?
Billionaire Boys Club isn’t the first production to deal with the Spacey fallout.
He was due to appear in Ridley Scott’s feature, All The Money In The World, but his scenes were re-shot with actor Christopher Plummer taking over the role following the allegations.
He was also written out of the upcoming and final season of Netflix series House of Cards, which will continue with his co-star Robin Wright.
The distributor for Billionaire Boys Club, Vertical Entertainment, defended its decision to push ahead with the film’s release, telling TheWrap in a statement in June:
Melbourne University senior lecturer in social and political sciences, Lauren Rosewarne, said the box office flop for Billionaire Boys Club showed audiences were discerning when it came to the #MeToo movement.
However, she cautioned against reading too much into it.
“I think audiences care about #MeToo [but] I don’t think it’s the only thing they consider when deciding to see a film,” she said.
“The Spacey factor works against the film, so what would have been an uphill battle anyway is made that bit harder.”
Film critic Zak Hepburn said it was surprising the film was released in cinemas at all given it had already gone to Video On Demand.
“It may be a total misread on audience behaviour, or it may have had to be released to meet a contractual obligation,” he said.
“Whatever their reasoning, it does show that audiences are not ready to engage with a film featuring Spacey — and may never again.”