Julian Assange may have the last laugh on "The Fifth Estate." Bill Condon's new film, about the rise of WikiLeaks with Benedict Cumberbatch playing Assange, was dead on arrival at the box office on Friday, grossing just $587,000 in seventh place. On its first day of release, "The Fifth Estate" earned $28,000 less than "Prisoners," which is in its 29th day of release.
Assange has slammed the film, which is based on two books, including "Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange at the World's Most Dangerous Website" by Daniel Domscheit-Berg, Assange's former WikiLeaks spokesperson. "I do not believe that this film is a good film," Assange wrote in a letter to Cumberbatch before filming on "The Fifth Estate" even took place. "By meeting with you, I would validate this wretched film, and endorse the talented, but debauched, performance that the script will force you to give."
According to THR, "The Fifth Estate" could gross as little as $1.8 million over the three-day weekend. That number would be worse than expected for DreamWorks, as early tracking had "The Fifth Estate" earning as much as $4 million during its opening frame.
Elsewhere at the box office, "Gravity" earned $9.1 million on Friday, putting it on course for a third straight weekend win. Newcomers "Carrie" and "Escape Plan" had decent debuts as well, respectively earning $6.6 million and $3.3 million. In addition to "Gravity," the Tom Hanks film "Captain Phillips" was another strong holdover, with $5.1 million in sales.
Full weekend numbers will be available on Sunday.