The Rhythm Section flops at box office

A poster for The Rhythm Section

The Rhythm Section, the non-Bond spy film made by Eon Productions, flopped at the U.S. box office.

The film will generate an estimated $2.8 million for the Jan. 31-Feb. 2 weekend, according to data compiled by Box Office Mojo.

The Paramount-released movie was being shown at 3,049 screens for an average of $918 per screen. It was the No. 10 film at the box office for the weekend, according to Box Office Mojo.

The Rhythm Section’s box office performance was the worst ever for a film opening on more than 3,000 screens, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The record had been held by 2006’s Hoot, which had a $3.4 million opening weekend, THR said.

The film features Blake Lively as a woman who discovers the plane crash that killed her family was really a terrorist act. She moves to avenge the killings with the assistance of a former MI6 agent (Jude Law).

The Rhythm Section originally was slated for an early 2019 release. However, a hand injury to Lively caused a production delay. The movie then was scheduled for a fall 2019 release before coming out this weekend instead.

Also this weekend, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s latest movie, Gretel & Hansel, was No. 4 with $6.05 million in its debut. The movie was marketed under MGM’s Orion brand. MGM is the home studio for Eon’s James Bond film series.

The top movie at the box office this weekend was Bad Boys for Life, with almost $17.7 million in its third weekend.

UPDATE (2 p.m. New York time): Deadline: Hollywood has published a story about what went wrong with The Rhythm Section. The entertainment outlet says the movie may lose $30 million to $40 million. The Rhythm Section had a budget of $50 million.

“Currently, I hear that the overseas launch for Rhythm Section is up in the air, with the studio pondering a direct to video title for Rhythm Section abroad after the dismal stateside results,” wrote Deadline’s Anthony D’Alessandro.

UPDATE II (Feb. 4): Final weekend figure for The Rhythm Section was $2.7 million (average of $890 per screen at 3,049 screens), according to Box Office Mojo.

REVIEW: The Rhythm Section (2020)

A poster for The Rhythm Section

With The Rhythm Section, Eon Productions wanted to show what it could do with the spy genre without James Bond.

In terms of craftsmanship, it’s a respectable effort. The photography is good. The actors give it their all. Director Reed Morano shows off multiple locations. The movie also runs less than two hours, almost a rarity these days.

But when it comes to connecting with the audience, not so much.

Blake Lively’s lead character, Stephanie Patrick, has lost her family after an aircraft crash. She has fallen apart, becoming a drug-addicted prostitute.

Patrick finds out the truth and becomes an avenging angel, diving deep into the world of international espionage and terrorism. She goes after one of her targets by pretending to be a prostitute.

The point is to show a diamond in the rough and what she had to accomplish. Stephanie Patrick is more Jason Bourne than James Bond, and a not very confident (at least at first) Bourne figure at that.

By the end of the film, Patrick has become the new Bourne. She evens things out. She’s ready for new adventures by the end of the movie.

Still, it’d be better if there were more audience investment in Patrick’s story.

Some of Eon’s Bond mainstays show up behind the camera. Chris Corbould, a long-time special effects wizard for the Bond series, is present as second unit director, for example.

Hans Zimmer did not do the score. But he gets the first music credit for producing the score. Steve Mazzaro, one of the composers affiliated with Zimmer’s Remote Control Productions, gets the actual “music by” credit.

Nevertheless, parts of the movie’s score resembles Zimmer’s work on Christopher Nolan-directed movies. Zimmer has been announced as composer for No Time to Die, Eon’s newest Bond film.

An anecdote: I was the third person to buy a ticket at my theater for the first showing of The Rhythm Section on Thursday night. One of the two people who bought tickets before me stopped as the end titles were playing.

“It wasn’t so good, was it?” she said.

Not so much. GRADE: C.

The Rhythm Section off to a slow start with critics

A poster for The Rhythm Section

The Rhythm Section, the non-Bond spy movie from Eon Productions, is off to a slow start with critics.

The movie’s score at the Rotten Tomatoes website was at 41 percent based on 34 reviews early Wednesday evening. The movie comes out Friday, with early showings Thursday night.

What follows are non-spoiler excerpts from a few reviews.

RICHARD ROEPER, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: “Despite a game performance by (star Blake) Lively, ‘The Rhythm Section’ is a junk pile of missteps, from the convoluted screenplay that hops from locale to locale in Advil-inducing fashion to the overly stylized directing.”

PETER DEBRUGE, VARIETY: “From the very first scene, audiences should realize that they’re watching a very different type of character. In many ways, (Blake Lively’s Stephanie Patrick is) even less like ‘Atomic Blonde,’ in which Charlize Theron’s meticulously choreographed, unerringly lethal fighting style is fun to watch but pure fantasy…This isn’t an easy role, but Lively aces it.”

PETER BRADSHAW, THE GUARDIAN: “The movie is an interesting mix of Le Carré/Ludlum locations, invoked with jittery, paranoid urgency…The rapport between (Jude) Law and Lively allows the movie both to relax and pick up the pace. (Director Reed) Morano puts together good fight scenes, robust stunt work and tasty car chases. It’s destined to be viewed on a million long-haul flights, but it works perfectly well as a thriller.”

WILLIAM BIBBLANI, THE WRAP: “You know you’ve got a problem when someone in your movie calls the protagonist ‘a cliché’ and there’s no counterargument, ever, at any point in the film…It hardly feels like a story. It’s as though a vague structure somehow got a mind of its own and wandered into cinemas without supervision.”

Trailer for Eon’s The Rhythm Section arrives

A trailer for The Rhythm Section, the non-Bond spy film made by Eon Productions, went online today.

The movie is set for a Jan. 31, 2020 release. It has been pushed back twice by Paramount. Star Blake Lively suffered an injury during filming in 2017. The project is part of a move by Eon to diversify from its Bond base.

Here’s a look at the trailer.

Eon’s Rhythm Section gets delayed again

Eon Productions logo

Eon Productions’ The Rhythm Section, the company’s non-Bond spy film, has been pushed back a second time to early 2020, Variety reported.

The movie, starring Blake Lively, is now scheduled for Jan. 31, 2020, the entertainment news outlet said.

The Rhythm Section was originally scheduled by Paramount for Feb. 22 of this year. Lively suffered an injury during filming in 2017. The movie’s release was pushed back to Nov. 22.

Lively “underwent two hand surgeries before shooting resumed,” according to Variety.

.The new release date means that Eon will have two movies coming out a little more than two months apart. No Time to Die, Eon’s 25th James Bond film, will be released on April 3, 2020, in the U.K. and April 8 in the U.S.

The Bond film will be will be released by United Artists Releasing, a joint venture between Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Annapurna Pictures, in the U.S. and Universal internationally.

Eon’s The Rhythm Section Delayed Until November

Eon Productions logo

Eon Productions’ non-007 spy movie, The Rhythm Section, has been delayed until November, Variety reported.

The film, starring Blake Lively, was scheduled for a Feb. 22 release by Paramount. The release date is now Nov. 22, according to Variety.

Production was delayed after Lively suffered a hand injury, shutting down filming for months. No change in the release date has been announced. But there has been no advertising or other marketing for the movie even as the original Feb. 22 date approached.

Here’s an excerpt from the Variety story:

Insiders familiar with the studio’s thinking said the new date is attractive for several reasons, including the holiday box office boon. The gritty spy tale, adapted from Mark Burnell’s novels surrounding character Stephanie Patrick, is thought by Paramount insiders to be ideal counter-programming to Disney’s “Frozen 2,” which is opening at the same time.

The development continues the mixed history of Eon’s non-James Bond projects. A spinoff movie feature Halle Berry’s character from Die Another Day never developed. Neither did a proposed film based on the life of Edward Snowden. Meanwhile, Eon’s indie-style movies such as Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool and Nancy drew very small audiences.

Eon’s next Bond film, the yet-to-be-named Bond 25, is scheduled to begin production in March.

Eon’s Rhythm Section May Resume Production in June

Barbara Broccoli

The Rhythm Section, Eon Productions non-007 spy film, may resume production in June, Deadline: Hollywood reported, citing “several sources.”

The movie, part of a diversifying portfolio of projects for Eon boss Barbara Broccoli, had shut down production following a hand injury to star Blake Lively in December. The movie was about half-filmed when the injury occurred, according to The Hollywood Reporter,which reported the production half late last month.

The suspension of production has not affected The Rhythm Section’s February 2019 release date, Deadline said in its story today. Eon is making the movie with financing from Global Road, formerly IM Global. Paramount will distribute the film.

It is unclear if Eon’s problems with The Rhythm Section will affect Bond 25. The movie has a release date of November 2019. At the moment, the project has no announced distributor. The last two Bond films, Skyfall and SPECTRE, began filming in, respectively, November 2011 and December 2014 and were released in fall 2012 and 2015.

h/t to @Bond25Film on Twitter for pointing out the Deadline story.