Gemini Man is a 2019 American action thriller film directed by Ang Lee. Starring Will Smith, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Clive Owen, and Benedict Wong, and written by David Benioff, Billy Ray and Darren Lemke, the film follows a retiring hitman who is targeted by a much younger clone of himself while on the run from the government.
Originally conceived in 1997 by screenwriter Lemke, the film went through development hell for nearly 20 years. Several directors, including Tony Scott, Curtis Hanson, and Joe Carnahan, were attached at some point and numerous actors, including Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson and Sean Connery, were set to star. In 2016, Skydance Media purchased the rights to the screenplay (which had been through several rewrites) from Disney and, in October 2017, Ang Lee signed on to direct for Skydance with Paramount handling the distribution rights. Filming took place from February through May 2018.
Gemini Man was released on October 1, 2019 and was theatrically released in the United States by Paramount Pictures on October 11, 2019 in standard 3D, Dolby Cinema (2K Dolby Vision 120 fps), 4DX, IMAX 3D, and ScreenX Formats, as well as in 120 fps HFR (high frame rate) "3D+" on select screens (including 16 Dolby Cinema and 47 IMAX 3D with Laser screens worldwide and only one TCL cinema that presented film in 3D 4K 120 fps but without HDR). No one presented the native 4K Dolby Vision 120 fps. Film on Blu-ray used 59.94 fps presentation. The film received generally negative reviews from critics for its script and plot, although the performances were praised. The de-aging of Smith and the high frame-rate of 120 FPS also drew a mixed response, with some critics praising them as technical achievements, while others felt they were unconvincing. It was also a box office bomb, grossing $173.5 million against its $138 million budget, with $111 million loss for Paramount.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 26% and an average rating of 4.7/10, based on 315 reviews. The website's critics consensus reads: "Gemini Man's impressive visuals are supported by some strong performances, but this sci-fi thriller is fatally undermined by a frustratingly subpar story. "On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 38 out of 100, based on 49 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave Gemini Man an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale, while those at PostTrak gave it 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Gemini Man grossed $48.5 million in the United States and Canada, and $124.6 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $173.2 million. It was estimated the film needed to gross around $275 million worldwide in order to break even; Deadline Hollywood calculated its net loss to be $111.1 million, when factoring together all expenses and revenues.
In the United States and Canada, Gemini Man was released alongside The Addams Family and Jexi, and was originally projected to gross $24–29 million from 3,642 theaters in its opening weekend. The film made $7.5 million on its first day, including $1.6 million from Thursday night previews, lowering weekend estimates to $20 million. It went on to debut to $20.5 million, finishing third at the box office. The low opening was blamed on poor critical response, the familiar premise and the over-performance of Joker. In its second weekend Gemini Man fell 58.6% to $8.9 million, finishing fifth.
The film opened in five countries the week prior to its U.S. release and made $7 million, finishing first in each market: France ($3 million), Germany ($3 million) Switzerland ($434,000), Austria ($262,000) and Israel ($259,000, Lee's best opener in the country).