Whoa. Keanu Reeves was thinkin' he's back with Replicas, but not too many fans cared to join him. The sci-fi thriller just got a wide release in theaters ... and maybe it shouldn't have? That wide release -- more than 1,000 theaters -- set it up for an unfortunate new record in the star's career.
According to a Saturday report from Deadline, Replicas will make about $2.4 million, marking the lowest wide release opening of Keanu Reeves' career. It's actually playing in 2,329 theaters, according to Box Office Mojo. THR had projected Replicas to make $4M-$7M in its opening weekend, after the film was purchased by Entertainment Studios for $4 million at the Toronto Film Festival. This estimate from Deadline isn't necessarily the final story -- we'll get the official weekend rundown on Sunday -- but it's not good.
Replicas currently has a Cinemascore of C from polled moviegoers. Could be a lot better, but it could be worse. The film also has a 43% Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes. Critics have been even less kind. Replicas currently has a 13% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. That's actually up from the 9% of earlier, but even less than CinemaBlend's own prediction of 28%. The percentage may still rise from here, but it wouldn't rise by much.
This is why the marketing team made use of that 93% Rotten Tomatoes figure while they could!
Replicas opened alongside The Upside -- which is set to replace Aquaman as #1 at the domestic box office -- plus A Dog's Way Home, which is the film my mom keeps saying she wants to see. Those three films are expected to be at the top of the box office chart when the final weekend numbers come in, with Replicas far down the list. Granted, those movies are playing on more screens than Replicas, but on Friday, Replicas was topped by both On the Basis of Sex and Vice, despite those films playing on fewer screens.
This isn't a bad sign for Keanu Reeves, despite Keanu being the face of Replicas. It's just a surprise that Replicas got such a wide release in the first place, in a world where many indie genre films are getting more limited releases or going straight to VOD. Keanu has a lot of smaller films on his resume, but they usually get smaller releases in fewer theaters.
But good for Entertainment Studios for gambling on Keanu Reeves and the rest of the Replicas team. You have to take risks in this world, and they don't always pan out. Keanu and Alice Eve (Star Trek Into Darkness, Black Mirror) may have seemed like safe sci-fi/action bets -- strong script or not -- so you can understand the reasoning. But it always comes back to the story and the storytelling.
Keanu Reeves should have two major hits for the rest of 2019 -- John Wick: Chapter 3, opening May 17, and a new voice role in Toy Story 4, opening June 21. Both films will get wide releases. Both films should do well, but Toy Story 4 will probably do well enough to be one of the top-grossing films of an extremely competitive year.
John Wick opened on 2,589 screens in 2014 and made $43 million at the domestic box office, and $89 million total including international markets. John Wick: Chapter 2 upped the opening theater count to 3,113 and made $92 million domestic and $171.5 million total. The John Wick franchise has never been on the box office level of The Matrix -- or even Speed, which made $350 million worldwide in 1994 off a reported production budget of $30 million -- but the John Wick films have modest budgets that help them make nice profits.
Here's what's still ahead at the box office in 2019. And if you want to head out to theaters to support Keanu Reeves and company, Replicas is now playing.