WikiLeaks drama The Fifth Estate, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Julian Assange, has been named the year’s biggest movie turkey by experts at financial magazine Forbes.
Bill Condon’s film about the early years of the whistleblowing site was tipped for awards season success prior to hitting cinemas. With the up-and-coming Cumberbatch in the lead, an Oscar-winning director and highly topical theme it had seemed like a shoo-in. But the film bombed with critics and later flopped at the box office. It has so far returned a mere $6 million (Dh22 million) of its relatively meagre $28 million budget, according to Forbes, a percentage of just 21 per cent.
Cumberbatch need not take the news too harshly: the top 10 of flops assembled by the magazine ahead of the annual Thanksgiving holiday in the US is filled with numerous films featuring well-known stars. In second place is the Sylvester Stallone action movie Bullet to the Head, which took just $9m on a budget of $25m, a return of 36 per cent. With Stallone hot property once again thanks to the success of The Expendables movies and 48 Hours’ Walter Hill in charge of the cameras, producers had expected rather better returns.
Third place on the list went to corporate thriller Paranoia, starring Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman alongside The Hunger Games’ Liam Hemsworth. Despite all that star power, Robert Luketic’s film took just $13.5m at the global box office on a $35m budget, a return of only 39 per cent. Fourth spot went to the Jason Statham/Jennifer Lopez heist thriller Parker, starring the British action stalwart as a professional thief vying to take revenge on his double-crossing crew. It managed to recoup just 49 per cent of its production budget at the box office.
Mark Wahlberg was one of last year’s top box office draws with success in comedy Ted. But this year his thriller Broken City, in which he starred opposite Russell Crowe, was 2013’s fifth biggest turkey. Allen Hughes’ film earned just $19m on a $35m budget, a 54 per cent return.