This just in: Nobody wants to see a movie about international supercreep Julian Assange, no matter how heavily you promote it or which sonorous, ridiculously named, differently sexy Brit you get to play him.
The Fifth Estate bombed in its opening weekend with a truly awful $1.7 million from 1,769 theaters, making it the worst debut for a film opening in at least 1,500 theaters this year. (Sorry, Paranoia!) The film, which cost DreamWorks a reported $26 million to produce, earned tepid reviews from critics and could only manage an anemic $969 location average.
Just how bad is that? Well, let’s put this in perspective. Notorious stinker Movie 43 grossed $4.8 million in its opening weekend in January, almost three times as much as The Fifth Estate. Getaway, the ludicrously awful Ethan Hawke/Selena Gomez thriller drove away with $4.5 million in August. Heck, this weekend’s Arnold Schwarznegger/Sylvester Stallone action flick Escape Plan bombed with $9.8 million — and that’s still almost six times more money than The Fifth Estate made!
Confession time: I had no idea Escape Plan even existed until I read this. And yet The Fifth Estate hype has been inescapable. I even limp past a huge poster for it every day at my DC Metro stop. And every day I think, “Who the hell would want to see that?”
Now I have my answer. Rotten Tomatoes:
Oof. Even the least essential remake since Vince Vaughn masturbated while looking through a peephole at Anne Heche made 10 times as much!
Don’t feel too bad for Benedict Cumberbatch, though. Sure, he’s the latest victim of a Hollywood system that keeps flushing away millions on left-wing bombs. But he’s a terrific actor. He was easily the best part of the latest Trek flick. (Even if his cold-eyed, proper British Khan had little to do with Montelban’s original bare-chested, implausibly North Indian space-pimp, other than the super-strength and hatred of Kirk.) And if his American sojourn doesn’t work out, he’s still got Sherlock.
If he does manage to overcome this career obstacle, though, you have my permission to call it a Comebackerbatch.