Bond producers Eon 'disappointed' after new movie 'The Rhythm Section' bombs

Ben Arnold
Blake Lively in The Rhythm Section (Credit: Eon/Paramount Pictures)

No Time To Die isn't the only movie Bond studio Eon Productions has been poised to release – but the fortunes of thriller The Rhythm Section look rather less rosy. The film’s producers have defended the film, and its director Reed Morano, after posting a terrible opening weekend.

The film, produced by Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, along with Paramount Pictures, debuted to a staggeringly poor $2.8 million in the US (around £2.3 million).

That makes it the lowest debut weekend ever for any movie opening on 3000 or more screens.

It opened to £172,000 from 406 locations in the UK, with an an average of just £424 per screen. The general rule of thumb is that UK opening weekends should be 10% of the US equivalent, making its performance here even worse than America.

Speaking about the box office performance, Eon said in a statement: “We are obviously disappointed with the box office, but proud of Reed and our movie and the overwhelmingly positive reaction to Blake’s performance.”

Read more: Daniel Craig pitches up as Bond in new Heineken ads

Starring Gossip Girl actress Blake Lively, and directed by Reed Morano, it follows a young woman seeking the truth behind a plane crash which killed her parents, who soon discovers that it wasn't an accident.

She then assumes the role of assassin to track down those responsible, but while Lively's performance came in for praise, the movie, which also stars Jude Law and Sterling K. Brown came in for a critical pummelling.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 27: Reed Morano, Blake Lively and Barbara Broccoli attend the screening of "The Rhythm Section" at Brooklyn Academy of Music on January 27, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

Kevin Maher in The Times called the plot 'risible, the action worse', while The New Yorker called it a 'witless and soulless thriller' which 'squanders a formidable cast'.

Read more: New teaser for No Time To Die

But Deadline reports that behind-the-scenes issues with the movie's Chinese backing (the outlet describes Eon as being thrust into 'indie finance hell') and then further issues with the scripting - which formed the basis for the bad reviews – could end up costing distributor Paramount a potential $40 million in losses.

Lively injured her hand during production, meaning that filming had to be halted for six months during its 2017 shoot, with the movie’s release eventually being delayed by a year.

Deadline also adds that it was 'one of the worst-tested titles in Paramount history' after it was shown to test audiences.

But hopefully No Time To Die will bolster Eon’s coffers - Spectre made $880 million at the box office, while Skyfall topped $1 billion.

The Rhythm Section is out now.