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Will Smith must wish he took that Independence Day sequel now.  After Earth was a disaster and now his latest, Gemini Man, looks like following it straight to the Shit Parade.

Ang Lee has a wildly varied CV with Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Brokeback Mountain standing in line with Hulk and Life Of Pi.  Now it seems the action thriller starring Will Smith will give him his worst reviews and box-office, facing a loss of over $75m.

Heavy F/X rendered at 4K, in 3D and at 120 frames-per-second costs a lot –  $140 million after-tax rebates and incentives – with another $100 million-plus marketing spend.

However, the film opened two weekends ago with barely a ripple.  A tiny $20.5m opening crept to just $118.7m worldwide.

Save Us China!

No!  The current familiar cry of the Hollywood whore bounced directly off the Great Firewall and the Middle Kingdom shrugged.  $21m.  There are buffets in Beijing that make more than that.

Skydance Media, Paramount Pictures and China-based Fosun and Alibaba are on the hook for the money.

Will Smith has missed the mega-franchise bus.  He was making After Earth and this while smart talent saw the way the wind was blowing.  They understood that actors no longer open movies on name alone and either jumped aboard the Marvel train, returned to Star Wars one last time, squeaked another $30m out of Bond, picked up their wand and headed to the Harry Potter-verse or pulled a Cruise and nailed themselves to Mission Impossible.

Smith now looks like a man out of time and out of options.  Expect a poorly judged return to Men In Black and a Fresh Prince revival sometime around 2021.

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