The mystery of Julian Assange continues as DreamWorks’ Wikileaks drama “The Fifth Estate” looks to be all but M.I.A. at the box office. Bill Condon’s tech-themed feature could spill only $2.4 million worth of secrets this weekend, according to insiders, for one of the worst wide openings of the year.
The Wikileaks drama, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, has a per-screen-average of $1,355 Friday evening — that’s the second-worst per-screen take of 2013 behind the Ed Harris submarine bomb “Phantom” ($454 per/screen).
Yet the movie has sparked interest in this year’s other Wikileaks film, “We Steal Secrets: The Wikileaks Story,” which rose to No. 5 on the iTunes chart Friday. Alex Gibney’s acclaimed documentary, distributed by Universal and Focus World, seems to be benefiting from favorable mentions of the doc in the media’s negative “Fifth Estate” coverage.
Co-starring Daniel Bruhl (“Rush”), “The Fifth Estate” was produced for $30 million by DreamWorks and Participant Media and distributed by Disney.
Meanwhile, “Gravity” should land on top for the third consecutive weekend with $30 million. MGM’s “Carrie” remake, starring Chloe Moretz, is No. 2, currently looking at $21 million, though strong latenight sales could increase the weekend total.
As Variety mentioned earlier this week, Alfonso Cuaron’s “Gravity” has a legitimate chance of sweeping the No. 1 position in October in what has already been a record-breaking release for the Warner Bros. space drama.
As of Thursday, “Gravity” had grossed north of $210 million worldwide.