Box Office: The Fifth Estate is the biggest bomb of the year

Gravity DROPPED the competition (see what I did there?) for the third weekend in a row, pulling in an estimated $31 million, while the Carrie remake and Captain Phillips went periods vs. piracy for second place, both with around $17 million. Sly and Arnie grunted their way to $9.8 million for The Escape Plan, but the big story was The Fifth Estate, which cost $26 million to make (not including marketing costs) and didn’t even earn back $2m (it made $1.7) after critics and audiences took a Wikileak on it. Turns out the “fifth estate” is apathy.

Playing at 1,769 locations, the WikiLeaks drama opened to a pathetic $1.7 million. That’s the worst start for a movie opening at over 1,500 theaters this year (in comparison, now-legendary bomb Paranoia took in $3.5 million in its first frame).

While this movie is fashioned as a more political version of The Social Network, it goes without saying that WikiLeaks doesn’t hold a candle to Facebook. Those who do know of WikiLeaks are generally skeptical of founder Julian Assange, which runs contradictory to the movie’s more heroic marketing. [BoxOfficeMojo]

Julian Assange wasn’t a huge fan of the film either, or were critics. Which isn’t to say that he’s not an interesting guy, but this is what happens when you try to make a biopic before the ink on the news story is even dry. Fifth Estate seemed like trying to make a John Lennon movie before Sgt. Pepper.

Elsewhere, in specialty box office, Ja Rule’s “urban-themed” (you mean it takes place in a city?? I’m confused!) rom-com I’m in Love with a Church Girl opened in 457 theaters to a lackluster $1.025 million take and holy shit how did I not hear about this movie until today? Let’s explore this trailer, shall we…

Whoa whoa whoa, time the f*ck out, Ja Rule’s real name is “Jeff Atkins?” And holy crap, this movie has Michael Madsen AND the bad guy from Karate Kid 2?? Why weren’t there 20 ads for this during every football game? I feel like the world has done us a great disservice but not making this clear sooner. I may have to live blog this film at some point.

1. Gravity (Warner Bros.) Week 3; Last weekend #1

$31,030,000 (-28%) in 3,820 theaters (+160); PSA (per screen average): $8,123; Cumulative: $170,566,000

2. Captain Phillips (Sony) Week 2; Last weekend #2

$17,300,000 (-33%) in theaters (no change); PSA: $5,728; Cumulative: $53,300,000

3. Carrie (Sony)  NEW – Cinemascore: B-; Criticwire: B-; Metacritic: 54

$17,000,000 in 3,157 theaters; PSA: $5,385; Cumulative: $17,000,000

4. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 (Sony) Week 4; Last weekend #3

$10,100,000 (-27%) in 3,602 theaters (-272); PSA: $2,804; Cumulative: $93,137,000

5. Escape Plan (Lionsgate) NEW – Cinemascore: B+; Criticwire:B-; Metacritic: 48

$9,800,000 in 2,883 theaters; PSA: $3,399; Cumulative: $9,800,000

6. Prisoners (Warner Bros.) Week 5; Last weekend #6

$2,065,000 (-43%) in 2,160 theaters (-685); PSA: $2,065; Cumulative: $57,259,000

7. Enough Said (Fox Searchlight) Week 5; Last weekend #11

$1,800,000 (-57%) in 757 theaters (+151); PSA: $2,378:; Cumulative: $10,787,447

8. The Fifth Estate (Buena Vista) NEW – Cinemascore: B; Criticwire: C+; Metacritic: 50

$1,714,000 in 1,769 theaters; PSA: $969; Cumulative: $1,714,000

9. Runner Runner (20th Century-Fox) Week 3; Last weekend #5

$1,625,000 (-%) in 2,011 theaters (-1,015); PSA: $808; Cumulative: $17,536,000

10. Insidious Chapter 2 Week 5; Last weekend #8

$1,533,000 in 1,665 theaters (-44%); PSA: $921; Cumulative: $80,923,000 [Indiewire]