The $45M movie, based on Hunter S. Thompson's novel, debuts to only $5M
One of the biggest movie stars in the world suffered one of the biggest box-office flops of his career this weekend.
Even with Johnny Depp, the Hunter S. Thompson-themed "Rum Diary" couldn't scrape up more than $5 million at 2,272 North American locations. Considering the movie had a budget of about $45 million, that's a tough opening for the FilmDistrict release.
The movie also was poorly received by filmgoers who did pay to see it, garnering a soft "C" score in post-screening surveys conducted by Cinemascore.
Certainly Depp, who has driven Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise and its "Alice in Wonderland" to multi-billion-dollar heights, has had some disappointments, too.
Last year's "The Tourist," which also starred Angelina Jolie, grossed $67.3 million domestically and $278.3 million worldwide — an impressive number, except the movie cost an estimated $100 million to make.
His 2009 film "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus" opened to a shabby $1.6 million. It went on to gross $7.6 million domestically and $61.8 worldwide on a $30 million budget.
And his 2006 "The Libertine" fared far worse. It opened to $2.2 million and grossed $4.8 million in North America and $10.8 million worldwide. The film was shot on a modest budget of around $20 million.
And of course, Depp has played Thompson — who he countd as a close personal friend — before, in 1998's "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas." That movie was made for an estimated $18.4 million and grossed only $10.6 million domestically.
Going into the weekend, FilmDistrict had modest expectations for "Rum Diary." The distributor figured that Depp's appeal and Thompson's cult status would help the movie gross between $9 million – $11 million.
Depp, of course, is a huge international star, and the movie has fared well in the few territoies it has premiered in abroad, grossing $2.8 million in the Ukraine and Russia.
"The Rum Diary" also stars Aaron Eckhart, Amber Heard and Giovanni Ribisi. Bruce Robinson wrote and directed the movie, which Depp produced with Christi Dembrowski, Tim Headington, Graham King, Robert Kravis and Anthony Rhulen.s.