Benedict Cumberbatch's Wikileaks drama The Fifth Estate has topped Forbes' list of 2013 film flops. The movie bombed after it opened in October (13), bringing in just $6 million (£4 million) in global box office takings, and Forbes writers have now named it the worst performing film of the year (13) as it earned back just 21 per cent of its $28 million (£18.7 million) budget.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is played by Cumberbatch in the movie, publicly opposed the project and correctly predicted the film would flop at the box office.
Other releases included in Forbes' 'turkey' list include Sylvester Stallone's Bullet To The Head and Harrison Ford's Paranoia, which ranked second and third respectively.
Jason Statham and Jennifer Lopez's crime thriller Parker was ranked the fourth worst performing film while Mark Wahlberg's political drama Broken City completed the top five.
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures/Screen Gems
Carrie, expected to be the hit of the weekend, did mediocre numbers, only bringing in around 16 million instead of the projected 20-30 million. However, as the only wide release horror movie this October, numbers could potentially turn around for the thriller for the next few weekends as we get closer to Halloween.
Sylvester Stallone's Escape Plan came in just under 10 million, which, while respectable, pales in comparison to the film's 70 million budget. However, the film is doing a little better overseas, with 14.1 million.
The biggest disappointment was The Fifth Estate, which only made back 1.6 million of a 50 million budget and did not recieve the expected accolades or audience for Benedict Cumberbatch's performance as Julian Assange.
By contrast, Gravity managed to hang on to the top spot for the third week in a row, expanding to another 160 screens and grossing a strong 30 million. Coming in at a solid second place (especially when compared to the juggernaut that Gravity has turned out to be), was Captain Phillips, returning for another strong weekend.
Top Movies for Weekend of October 19 - October 21
1. Gravity — $30,027,161
2. Captain Phillips — $16,413,093
3. Carrie — $16,101,552
4. Escape Plan — $9,885,732
5. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 — $9,672,791
Benedict Cumberbatch's portrayal of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in new biopic The Fifth Estate has officially been deemed a box office flop after grossing just $1.7 million (£1.13 million) in the U.S., making it the worst major debut of the year so far. The thriller, directed by Bill Condon, charts the story of the controversial whistleblowing website, but it fell flat when it debuted in the U.K. earlier this month (Oct13), taking a pitiful $753,000 (£502,000) in its opening weekend, and now it's failed to draw audiences on the other side of the Atlantic, too.
The movie, which cost $26 million (£17.3 million) to make for Participant Media and Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks Studios, scraped into the U.S. top 10 at eight, despite opening in more than 1,500 theatres nationwide.
It provided little competition for Sandra Bullock and George Clooney's space disaster epic Gravity, which took $31 million (£20.7 million) in its third weekend of release to stay at number one, while Tom Hanks' kidnap drama Captain Phillips remained at two with $17.3 million (£11.5 million).
The top five was rounded out by the new Carrie remake, which enters at three, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 at four and Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger's Escape Plan at five.
The movie tagline sort of sums it up: "Four guys from the suburbs hit the road...and the road hits back." The four middle-aged friends who like to jump on their motorcylces and go riding around once a week are: Doug (Tim Allen) a dentist embarrassed by his job; Bobby (Martin Lawrence) a henpecked husband who wants to break away from being a plumber; Dudley (William H. Macy) a mild-mannered computer programmer and resident geek; and finally Woody (John Travolta) an entrepreneur with seemingly the most going for him. In actuality Woody is about to hit rock bottom but rather than be honest with his friends he convinces them all to hit the open road with him--to feel the wind in their hair so to speak. And as they go looking for adventure they soon find that they’ve embarked on a journey they will never forget. Uh-huh. Who would have thought these four actors would make a movie together? Casting Wild Hogs looked like the best part about making the movie as the producers probably sat around coming up with different variations (wonder who else they considered--Tom Hanks? Steve Carell?) Comedy veterans Allen and Lawrence have fun riffing on one another doing their shtick here and there while Travolta (the only real biker of the bunch) and Macy easily keep up with the antics. For the most part these guys click but I’m sure everyone did this purely for the money—and the Harleys. Ray Liotta gets to play the menacing villain once again as the leader of a motorcycle gang who has it out for our hapless quartet. Of course this time Liotta plays it for laughs and does a nice job with it. Even Marisa Tomei makes an appearance as a small town denizen who falls for Macy’s Dudley as the boys end up defending the town from Liotta and his thugs Magnificent Seven-style. You can see every plot point coming a mile away plus a few director Walt Becker probably didn’t even know were in there. But honestly from the guy who directed Van Wilder what did you expect? Becker is handy with a camera and totally knows where the film’s bread is buttered focusing all his energy and attention on his four stars. Unfortunately in doing so Wild Hogs mostly misses out on the poignancy of say a City Slickers even though it tries real hard to get us to connect with these middle-aged men trying to recapture youth--or whatever. But listen this isn’t supposed to change the world; Wild Hogs is just pure dumb fun about a group of guys wearing leather and riding hogs. Period.
Maybe you’re concerned Snakes on a Plane isn’t going to live up to the hype. Stop worrying. Those fanatic Internet bloggers who’ve been raving about the movie just from the snippets they’ve seen pegged the movie to a tee. SoaP is everything its cracked up to be and more a monster movie and disaster flick rolled into one. Granted the plot is wafer thin: FBI Agent Neville Flynn (Jackson) has to transport a key witness Sean (Nathan Phillips) from Hawaii to L.A. so he can testify against a nasty mob boss who in turn hatches such a diabolical plan to dispose of the witness that even James Bond would be impressed. That’s right. Said nasty mob boss arranges the release of several varieties of poisonous snakes on the flight so either a) Sean will get bitten and die and/or b) the plane crashes. End of story. How can you go wrong with that? Jackson is one smart cookie. He heard the title of this movie and said yes immediately--despite the objections of his agents--recognizing the brilliance of a title so obvious it's foolproof. “My agents have finally figured out that I’m going to do what I want ” the actor told Entertainment Weekly. “Every now and then I want to do a movie that isn’t ‘stretching my abilities.’ It’s that simple.” All we have to do to be satisfied is watch Jackson scream a few cuss words lay down the law with the freaked passengers say lines like “Well that’s good news. Snakes on crack ” and kick some serious serpent booty. There’s a bunch of unknown actors also onboard to serve mostly as snake food but a few do survive including former ER nurse Julianna Margulies who does a nice turn as the head flight attendant sparring with the snakes and getting a little cozy with Jackson. In the words of Indiana Jones “Snakes. Why does it have to be snakes?” There’s a distinct phobia in the air whenever you mention those particular reptiles so that’s why the “monster” part of SoaP is even more horrifying--and changing the rating from PG-13 to R makes a world of difference. I mean um OUCH. That’s basically what I was mumbling through the harrowing parts watching through splayed fingers. Director David R. Ellis even goes as far as to give you a snake’s perspective as it zeroes in on its next victim. Shiver. Yes the premise is ridiculous. Yes you have to sit through some silly exposition before the snakes show up and will be able to pick out the ones who’ll make it through till the end. But honestly if you love a good disaster-y thrill ride and don’t mind snakes SoaP is the last summer movie you should see.