On paper, Reminiscence had all of the ingredients to offer solid counter-programming to the raft of spectacle-driven blockbusters that dominated the marketplace during the summer months. Based on a completely original concept written and directed by Westworld co-creator Lisa Joy in her feature directorial debut, there was plenty of potential in the project.
The sort of mid budget, though-provoking genre piece that the major studios don’t really tend to gamble on any more, Reminiscence boasted a hugely popular and reliable A-list star in the lead role, with Hugh Jackman starring as an army veteran in post-apocalyptic Miami, who runs a small business allowing people to relive memories of their choosing before a mysterious woman upends his entire existence and draws him into a citywide conspiracy.
If that logline makes it sound as though Reminiscence has shades of Christopher Nolan, then it won’t come as a surprise to discover that Joy’s husband Jonathan is listed as one of the producers, and he collaborated with his older brother on Memento, the Dark Knight Trilogy and Interstellar.
Unfortunately, Reminiscence has been setting records for all the wrong reasons after releasing last weekend. Opening in ninth place at the domestic box office with just $2 million, it scored the worst three-day debut in history for any movie opening in over 3000 theaters, and has so far failed to even crack $5 million globally.
Reviews have been tepid, with the premise of the sci-fi mystery noir action thriller drawing praise, but the execution coming in for criticism. Suffice to say, it’s probably going to go down as the biggest flop of Jackman’s career.