There’s a very good chance you didn’t know there was a new Kevin Spacey movie in theaters. Why would you? And for that matter, why would any distributor release a Kevin Spacey movie in 2018? After the news broke last fall that he was accused of sexual assault on set, the two-time Oscar-winner was expunged so severely from the collective record that Ridley Scott famously spent a few million dollars re-shooting All the Money in the World, replacing the actor’s every appearance with Christopher Plummer.
But not every production has spare Christopher Plummer cash lying around. Such is the case with Billionaire Boys Club, likely the last title you’d want on a movie starring a guy with a well-known yen for the underaged. Sure enough, the movie has gone on to a not-quite-record low box office tally. On Friday, it grossed a jaw-dropping $126. The final numbers aren’t in, but The Hollywood Reporter guesstimates its weekend tally won’t break $500.
Filmed before the allegations against Spacey emerged, Billionaire Boys Club deals with a clan of wealthy brats, among them Ansel Elgort and Taron Egerton, who get involve in a get-rich-quick scheme gone awry. (As if there was any other kind.) Spacey has a key role, though he’s missing from the poster. But even trying to erase him from advertising didn’t keep people from keeping away.
The film’s distributors, Vertical Entertainment, explained their reason for releasing a movie prominently featuring Spacey, saying they wanted to honor all the hard-working actors who aren’t accused of sexual assault and deserve to have their work seen. It only wound up in eight theaters total, though. THR has helpfully crunched down the numbers: about $53 from each theater total, or an average of six tickets sold a night.
Still, this isn’t quite Guinness World Records-worthy. Billionaire Boys Club’s got nothing on Zyzzyx Road, an indie thriller starring Katherine Heigl and Tom Sizemore that in 2006 grossed a grand total of $30 from a single Dallas, Texas, theater during a six-day run. (And $10 of that was later refunded by one of the stars to a friend who saw it, so it really only grossed an Andrew Jackson.) In that sense, what may prove to be the final Kevin Spacey movie released in theaters is kind of a secret success.