A zeitgeist-straddling tech thriller adapted from feted novelist Dave Eggers and starring Emma Watson and Tom Hanks is surely an open goal, right?
Well sadly, it seems not.
‘The Circle’, rather than hitting the multiplexes has done the equivalent of going ‘straight to video’, for those who recall such formats.
Arriving with little to no fanfare, it’s not as if Watson and Hanks are the only draw – it also stars a host of cult types, including ‘Star Wars’ very own John Boyega, ‘Doctor Who’s Karen Gillan, comedian’s comedian Patton Oswalt and the late Bill Paxton.
In it, Watson plays Mae Holland, who takes a new job at powerful web company The Circle, but soon finds that she’s involved in new surveillance technology that will determine the future of humanity.
Pretty current in terms of subject matter too, then.
However, the reason it’s arrived on telly rather than the big screen is a rather basic one, having tanked at the box office in the US.
It made just just $30 million in all, despite being released on a weekend with little to no competition back in April.
The movie was also hammered by critics.
Peter Travers of Rolling Stone wrote: “The Circle feels dull, dated and ripped from yesterday’s headlines. It flatlines while you’re watching it.”
The Wrap was even more scathing, adding that it ‘takes a valid concern about lack of privacy in the internet age and turns it into a hyperbolic and finally laughable melodrama’.
The movie is, however, still making an appearance in cinemas in France and Australia.