The film, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch as WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange and tells of the website’s leaking of classified documents, received lukewarm reviews on both sides of the Atlantic and has failed to make an impression at the box office as well.
The film opened in the States in eighth place behind Gravity, which has proved a critical and commercial smash and is due to open over here on November 8. The Fifth Estate has picked up $1.7million in the US and $1.6million in overseas receipts, which is a paltry figure compared to the $28million budget the movie had and its position as a potential awards seasons candidate.
The film also received less than positive remarks from critics who had labelled it overly cautious and unwilling to take a stand when it comes to the moral and journalistic debates at the heart of the WikiLeaks debate.
It marks something of a downer for star Cumberbatch, too, who had been riding high after his eye-catching role in the summer’s box office smash Star Trek Into Darkness, and who had been labelled as a headline, leading man star in waiting. It appears his latest turn, though widely praised itself, is not going to be the one to take him to the next level.
One person who is no doubt slightly smug at the film’s underperforming is Assange himself, who had refused to be involved with the movie and had repeatedly attacked its accuracy and portrayal of the true events.