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Billionaire Boys Club (2018 film)

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Billionaire Boys Club
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJames Cox
Written by
  • James Cox
  • Captain Mauzner
Produced by
CinematographyJames M. Muro
Edited byGlen Scantlebury
Music byJoel J. Richard
Elevated Films
Armory Films
Distributed byVertical Entertainment
Release date
  • August 17, 2018 (2018-08-17) (United States)
Running time
108 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$15 million[1]
Box office$2.7 million[2]

Billionaire Boys Club is a 2018 American biographical crime drama film directed by James Cox and co-written by Cox and Captain Mauzner. The film is about the social club and Ponzi scheme of the same name. The film stars Ansel Elgort, Taron Egerton, Emma Roberts, Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Irvine, Thomas Cocquerel, Rosanna Arquette, Cary Elwes, and Judd Nelson. The film is based on the real life Billionaire Boys Club from Southern California during the 1980s, a group of rich teenagers who get involved in a Ponzi scheme and eventual murder. The story was previously made into a television film in 1987, which starred Judd Nelson as Joe Hunt, while he plays that character's father in the 2018 version.

Originally announced in 2010 and filmed in 2015, Billionaire Boys Club is one of the final works that Spacey filmed prior to numerous sexual misconduct allegations made against him in 2017, and the accusations directly affected the film's release schedule and marketing. The film was released in the United States through video on demand on July 17, 2018, prior to a limited release on August 17, 2018, by Vertical Entertainment, and was a commercial failure. The domestic opening weekend box office take of just $618, from 11 theaters, was the lowest of Spacey's career.[3][4] The film was panned by critics, although Spacey's performance was praised.


Led by their fellow preppie friend Joe Hunt, a group of wealthy young men in 1980s Los Angeles come up with a plan to get rich quick with a Ponzi scheme. The plan ends badly for all involved when Hunt and friend Tim Pittman end up murdering investor and con man Ron Levin.[5]



In May 2010, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed that James Cox would direct the crime thriller film Billionaire Boys Club, the true story of a group of rich young boys in Los Angeles during the early 1980s who started the Billionaire Boys Club to run a Ponzi scheme.[8] Cox wrote the script in four months after an exclusive research of the events with his brother Stephen, who spent another four months on it.[8] Cox gathered the material for the screenplay from court documents, oral transcripts, and published articles. He said, "as we were writing this, I thought, 'What if 'Wall Street' became 'Alpha Dog' halfway through?" Holly Wiersma would produce the film.[8]

On October 29, 2015, Ansel Elgort and Taron Egerton joined the cast, with Elgort playing Joe Hunt, the group leader and financial expert, and Egerton playing Dean Karny, a pro tennis player.[9][10] Captain Mauzner also co-wrote the script along with Cox, while producers on the film would be Wiersma and Cassian Elwes. The film would be financed by Armory Films, and Good Universe would handle the international sales.[10] In November 2015, Kevin Spacey[11] signed on to play Ron Levin, a Beverly Hills high roller, Emma Roberts[12] was added to the cast to portray Sydney, Hunt's love interest and Suki Waterhouse was cast to play Quintana, Karny's love interest.[13]

In December 2015, Variety reported that Judd Nelson, who originally played Joe Hunt in the 1987 miniseries Billionaire Boys Club, would play the role of Ryan Hunt, Joe's father.[14] That same month, Ryan Rottman signed on to portray Scott Biltmore, one of the two handsome twins adopted by the owner of Maybelline, who first invested in the Club and Thomas Cocquerel joined the film.[15][16] Bokeem Woodbine, Billie Lourd and Jeremy Irvine also joined the cast of the film, with Irvine playing Kyle Biltmore, one of the members of the Billionaire Boys Club, Lourd as Rosanna, his love interest, and Woodbine as a club bouncer who becomes involved in the club's doings.[17]

Principal photography began in New Orleans on December 7, 2015.[18][19][20] The film wrapped on January 25, 2016,[21] with re-shoots set for November of the same year.[18]


The film was initially released through video on demand on July 17, 2018, prior to a limited release in theaters on August 17, 2018, by Vertical Entertainment.[22][23]

Despite allegations of sexual misconduct being made against Kevin Spacey in October 2017, Vertical Entertainment stated that they would be going forward with the release of the film:

We don't condone sexual harassment on any level and we fully support victims of it. At the same time, this is neither an easy nor insensitive decision to release this film in theatres, but we believe in giving the cast, as well as hundreds of crew members who worked hard on the film, the chance to see their final product reach audiences.[24]


Box office[edit]

Billionaire Boys Club grossed a total worldwide of $2.7 million and $1,349 in North America,[2] against a production budget of $15 million.[1] On its opening day in the United States, the film earned $126 from ten theaters, the worst opening for a film starring Kevin Spacey.[25][26][27] TheWrap noted that the ten theaters where the film was shown were mostly located in areas which were not considered to be major markets, and that some of the theaters showing the film scheduled their screenings for off-peak times, such as early in the morning or late at night.[28] The weekend total gross ended up at $618, with a final theater count of eleven.[3]

Critical response[edit]

On the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 7% based on 15 reviews, with an average rating of 3.5/10.[29] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 30 out of 100, based on 5 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[30]

Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle said that he has no doubt that "Spacey is very good at playing the bad guy" and that although only in a supporting role "dominates every moment of every scene in which he appears". LaSalle was unconvinced by the idea that Hunt made "bad decisions involving thousands [that] led to more bad decisions" but rather "the storm was of his own making" and concludes as his "life unravels, so does the movie".[31] Eric Kohn at IndieWire called it a "wannabe Wolf of Wall Street" and said that it is "intermittently engaging as a B-movie" but "never finds a satisfying tone."[32] John DeFore at The Hollywood Reporter called the film "a derivative bore" and accused it of being "creatively clueless" for "indulging in this period piece without finding some fresh critique".[33]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2019 Golden Raspberry Awards Barry L. Bumstead Award Billionaire Boys Club Won [34]


  1. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony (August 20, 2018). "Kevin Spacey Pic 'Billionaire Boys Club' Bombs At The B.O.: A Deeper Look". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Billionaire Boys Club". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved January 11, 2020.
  3. ^ a b McClintock, Pamela (August 20, 2018). "Box Office: Kevin Spacey's 'Billionaire Boys Club' Opens to Career-Low $618". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 20, 2018.
  4. ^ McClintock, Pamela (August 18, 2018). "Box Office: Kevin Spacey's 'Billionaire Boys Club' Earns Abysmal $126 on Opening Day". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 19, 2018.
  5. ^ "Notorious founder of the Billionaire Boys Club wants parole. It's just his latest con, prosecutors say". Los Angeles Times. October 22, 2018.
  6. ^ Bishop, Katherine (January 6, 1988). "Murder Trial in Bungled Extortion Case Enters Final Stages". The New York Times. Retrieved August 20, 2018.
  7. ^ "Who Said You Need to Age? Dr. Marc Mani Takes Beauty to the Next Level - Locale Magazine". Locale Magazine. November 17, 2017. Archived from the original on December 29, 2017. Retrieved August 22, 2018.
  8. ^ a b c Kit, Zorianna (May 13, 2010). "James Cox to direct 'Billionaire Boys Club'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 11, 2015.
  9. ^ Ford, Rebecca; Kit, Borys (October 29, 2015). "Ansel Elgort, Taron Egerton to Star in 'Billionaire Boys Club'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 11, 2015.
  10. ^ a b McNary, Dave (October 29, 2015). "Ansel Elgort, Taron Egerton Starring in 'Billionaire Boys Club' Movie (Exclusive)". Variety. Retrieved December 11, 2015.
  11. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (November 3, 2015). "Kevin Spacey Joining 'Baby Driver' & 'Billionaire Boys Club'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 11, 2015.
  12. ^ McNary, Dave (November 5, 2015). "Emma Roberts Joins Ansel Elgort in 'Billionaire Boys Club'". Variety. Retrieved December 11, 2015.
  13. ^ McNary, Dave (November 24, 2015). "Suki Waterhouse Joins 'Billionaire Boys Club' Remake (Exclusive)". Variety. Retrieved December 11, 2015.
  14. ^ McNary, Dave (December 5, 2015). "Judd Nelson Returns for 'Billionaire Boys Club' Remake (Exclusive)". Variety. Retrieved December 11, 2015.
  15. ^ Galuppo, Mia (December 7, 2015). "Ryan Rottman Joins Ansel Elgort, Suki Waterhouse in 'Billionaire Boys Club' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 11, 2015.
  16. ^ Kroll, Justin (December 8, 2015). "Thomas Cocquerel Joins Ansel Elgort in 'Billionaire Boys Club'". Variety. Retrieved December 11, 2015.
  17. ^ McNary, Dave (December 15, 2015). "Billie Lourd, Bokeem Woodbine, Jeremy Irvine Join 'Billionaire Boys Club' (Exclusive)". Variety. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  18. ^ a b Scott, Mike (November 11, 2015). "Kevin Spacey's 'Billionaire's Boys Club,' WWE Studios' 'Brothers Blood' headed for New Orleans shoots". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved November 15, 2015.
  19. ^ Kay, Jeremy (November 3, 2015). "Kevin Spacey joins 'Billionaire Boys Club'". Screen Daily. Retrieved December 11, 2015.
  20. ^ "Feature Film "Billionaire Boys Club" Seeks Background Actors". Louisiana Entertainment. November 12, 2015. Archived from the original on December 3, 2015. Retrieved December 11, 2015.
  21. ^ Engort, Ansel (January 24, 2016). "That's a wrap for the billionaire boys!!!! Will miss you all so much". Instagram. Archived from the original on December 24, 2021. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
  22. ^ McClintock, Pamela (June 19, 2018). "Kevin Spacey Film 'Billionaire Boys Club' to Hit Select Theaters in August". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 20, 2018.
  23. ^ Donelly, Matt (June 18, 2018). "Return From Exile: Kevin Spacey's 'Billionaire Boys Club' to Hit Theaters in August (Exclusive)". TheWrap. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  24. ^ Stolworthy, Jacob (June 20, 2018). "Kevin Spacey returning to cinemas for first time since sexual assault allegations". The Independent. Retrieved August 20, 2018.
  25. ^ McClintock, Pamela (August 18, 2018). "Box Office: Kevin Spacey's 'Billionaire Boys Club' Earns Abysmal $126 on Opening Day". The Hollywood Reporter.
  26. ^ Wootson, Cleve R. (August 19, 2018). "After #MeToo, Kevin Spacey movie 'Billionaire Boys Club' earns $126 on opening day". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 20, 2018.
  27. ^ McCarthy, Tyler (August 19, 2018). "Kevin Spacey's new film 'Billionaire Boys Club' opens to incredibly low $126 following sexual misconduct allegations". Fox News. Retrieved August 20, 2018.
  28. ^ Donnelly, Matt (August 17, 2018). "Kevin Spacey's 'Billionaire Boys Club' Dumped on Just 10 Screens - Probably Not at a Theater Near You". TheWrap. Retrieved August 20, 2018.
  29. ^ "Billionaire Boys Club (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved October 10, 2021.
  30. ^ "Billionaire Boys Club Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved August 22, 2018.
  31. ^ LaSalle, Mick (July 20, 2018). "Kevin Spacey makes a convincing bad guy in 'Billionaire Boys Club,' a career last gasp". San Francisco Chronicle. San Francisco, California. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
  32. ^ Kohn, Eric (July 28, 2018). "'Billionaire Boys Club' Review: Kevin Spacey's Not the Only Thing Wrong With This Wannabe 'Wolf of Wall Street'". IndieWire. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
  33. ^ DeFore, John (July 30, 2018). "'Billionaire Boys Club': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
  34. ^ "RAZZ NEWZ - The Razzies!". Razzies.com. January 21, 2019. Retrieved January 21, 2019.

External links[edit]