'The Fifth Estate' With Benedict Cumberbatch Opens Soft in U.K.
LONDON – Bill Condon's The Fifth Estate, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, landed at the U.K. box office almost unnoticed, taking a disappointing $802,000 (£502,000).
According to opening weekend figures from Rentrak, the movie starring the Sherlock star as the enigmatic WikiLeaks creator came in sixth for the weekend in the British charts.
The box-office take for the Disney-backed film will be a disappointing sign for the wide release by U.K. distributor Entertainment One.
The distributor was likely looking for a figure closer to $1 million -- a good threshold for a film of this size in the U.K. -- because Assange and his current exile in the Ecuadorian embassy in London continues to grab headlines in the local press.
Box-office commentators are pointing to the fact that the top film at the weekend box office, Prisoners, starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal, took only $1.5 million.
But given the fact that Rentrak doesn't count preview screening tallies and so hasn't yet ranked Dreamworks' Turbo in its top ten, the future for The Fifth Estate looks to be troubled.
One of the other factors is that while WikiLeaks and Assange himself spark debate and conversations among print, TV and online journalists, as well as other media representatives, the general public is left somewhat cold by the discussions.
The Fifth Estate is set to open in the U.S. through Disney's Buena Vista on Oct. 18.