The film, directed by Ang Lee and starring Smith as a government assassin facing off against a clone of his younger self, cost $138 million to produce.
According to Deadline, the $20 million gross is particularly low as it was screened at IMAX cinemas and in 3D, both of which require higher costs of tickets.
The site also reported that the film looks set to lose $60 million for studio Paramount, with Gemini Man needing to hit $275 million worldwide to break even.
Gemini Man is also the lowest opening weekend for a Will Smith action movie since 1995’s sleeper hit Bad Boys, which would go on to produce two sequels.
Smith’s infamous flops After Earth and Wild Wild West additionally both opened to higher grosses in their respective opening weekends.
In 2013, After Earth opened to $27 million ahead of a global haul of $243 million (off a budget of $130 million), while 1999’s Wild Wild West opened to a similar $27 million before topping just $222 million worldwide at the end of its theatrical run.
Wild Wild West cost $170 million to produce, not including a hefty marketing spend, leading to studio Warner Bros barely breaking even.
Smith is coming off the Disney blockbuster Aladdin, but has struggled as a leading man at the box office in recent years. His maligned 2016 weepie Collateral Beauty flamed out with $88 million worldwide following dismal reviews, while a year earlier his drama Concussion struggled to reach $48 million worldwide on a budget of $35 million.
In her review for The Independent, film critic Clarisse Loughrey called Gemini Man ”forgettable hokum”.