Johnny Depp’s ‘Transcendence’ Laying an Egg at the Box Office


Despite the star power of Johnny Depp, “Transcendence” will likely play fourth fiddle in the box office this Easter weekend.

The race looks to be a repeat of last weekend’s sequel showdown between Disney-Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and Fox’s “Rio 2,” which are each tracking for $25 million-plus.

“Rio 2” looks to benefit from the holiday timeframe as the number of children on spring break doubled this weekend from 10% to 20%. The 3D comedy could win this weekend by a beak, as it stands to earn an estimated $27 million-plus — roughly $2 million more than “Captain America.”

“Winter Soldier” has grossed almost $510 million worldwide ($175 million domestically), while “Rio 2” has tallied $177.2 million ($53 million domestically) through Thursday.

Meanwhile, Warner Bros.’ “Transcendence” is headed for a soft $16 million-plus launch. The sci-fi thriller, which reportedly cost $100 million to produce, may suffer from lackluster word of mouth and poor reviews (pic currently has 19% Rotten Tomatoes meter). “Transcendence” could, however, make up for the loss overseas thanks in part to a day-and-date release in China.

The high-concept film about a scientist whose consciousness is uploaded digitally marks the directorial debut of Wally Pfister, a longtime collaborator of Christopher Nolan’s who won on Oscar for shooting “Inception” back in 2011. The technophobia drama also stars Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany, Kate Mara and Cillian Murphy.

The movie marks the latest Stateside dud for Depp. Aside from Disney’s mega-successful “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise, the chameleonic actor’s most recent films have bombed domestically. “The Lone Ranger” earned $89 million Stateside, with a total worldwide gross of $261 million — only $45 million more than its production budget. His previous two movies, “Dark Shadows” and “The Rum Diary,” drew cumes of $80 million and $13 million, respectively.

With its new weekend entry “Heaven Is for Real” (an A CinemaScore), Sony is hoping to capitalize on the recent success of faith-themed pics. The Christian drama is en route for an $18 million weekend — in what would be a third-place finish ahead of “Transcendence.”

“Heaven Is for Real,” which cost just $12 million to produce, kicked off the Easter weekend early on Wednesday with an opening-day gross of $3.7 million. The Greg Kinnear starrer took in an additional $3.3 million Thursday from 2,417 locations, raising its two-day cume to $7 million.

An adaptation of Todd Burpo’s hit novel of the same name, the movie is an account of Burpo’s then-4-year-old son’s near-death experience. With its grassroots marketing campaign, Sony is hoping “Heaven Is for Real” can match the success of Burpo’s 2010 global bestseller, which not only had a religious core but also mass appeal. Sony enlisted senior production exec DeVon Franklin, an ordained minister, to oversee production on the drama, which is produced by Bishop T.D. Jakes and Joe Roth.

Open Road’s comedy spoof “A Haunted House 2” and Disney’s wildlife documentary “Bears” also opened on Friday.

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  1. Roger Tyson says:

    Don Rickles’ GPS Reviews The Trailer For “Transcendence”:

  2. Tina Erea says:

    I hate when they put this article in a way as if Johnney Depp, to me one if not my most favorite actor is of no importance just because he is not first movie over easter weekand, do they realize how amazing and creative Depp has been so whether the world chooses a comic book movie over his it does not sound right to use such degrading words as FLOP uugh Anyway just had to voice my opinion

  3. Nanci says:

    I’ll go see it hell with the critics and the box office. I like Depp’s acting..always have. Besides, he said himself he’s made a career out of ‘flops’…so bring them on! Fine with me!

  4. Jean-Michel says:

    This is pretty much dying in China too. It had a strong Friday, but word of mouth is toxic and on Saturday it was barely ahead of CA2 and Rio 2. It’ll lose a lot of IMAX screenings on Sundays as theaters give those back to Cap.

  5. Steve UK says:

    I’m glad Transcendence failed. Big-mouth Pfister said some nasty things about The Avengers in 2012 which made me angry and put me right off Nolan’s Batman trilogy.

  6. Depp is choosing some bad movies to do.

  7. alex says:

    Hey, they said that Howard the Duck laid and egg and look what happened.

    Exactly. :)

    Believe it or not, that was the FIRST Marvel movie. We’ve come a long way.

  8. alex says:

    Hey, they said Howard the Duck laid and look what happened.

    Exactly. :)

  9. WalterWhite says:

    I wouldn’t listen to critics myself but unfortunately it’s not just them other people I know and have read say it’s bad, so this will be a DVD rental for me too.

  10. casemoney says:

    Laying an egg means in this context that the box office performance was not good.

  11. Ann Johnson says:

    How can it be “laying an egg” when this is its official opening night? What is wrong with you people? I’m so glad I know how to think for myself. I would miss so much enjoyment in life if I depended on the opinions of others – especially critics who almost never share my views.

    • Dave Baxter says:

      Poor performance, financially, which is what “laying an egg” refers to, is a statistic not an opinion. If it’s happening, then it’s happening. Tracking the performance of a film for the whole weekend based on it’s opening night numbers is a tested and proven practice that is accurate to a scary degree of proficiency. We all claim that we “think for ourselves”, but tracking proves us all wrong on this score, time and again, and has for years.

  12. flo says:

    Do you guys really enjoy saying derogatory things about a movie that really is aimed at a smaller audience then a cartoon or a super hero movie??? To me you are disgusting. I try not to read such drivel but you put it in such a way that it just jumps out. SAD…

    • mightymad says:

      A $100 million sci-fi production, starring arguably one of the biggest movie stars on the planet… that seems like a small movie to you?

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