Johnny Depp Flops Again, ‘Captain America’ Sequel Rises Past its Predecessor


Disney-Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” eked out a small lead over Fox’s “Rio 2” at the Friday box office. The superhero pic looks to win the weekend in this year’s second three-peat (after “The Lego Movie”).

The “Captain America” sequel earned $9.6 million, just over the animated movie’s $9.2 million, which should keep growing as kids hit theaters over the Easter weekend.

Warner Bros.’ new entry “Transcendence” was no match for the epic battle of the sequels, the second tightest race of the year following last weekend’s close showdown. The Johnny Depp-starrer came in at a disappointing fourth place with $4.8 million, making it the actor’s fourth flop in a row. Another newcomer, Sony’s “Heaven Is for Real” exceeded expectations by rising to $7.9 million.

With a cume of $184.5 million, “The Winter Soldier” overlapped its predecessor, “The First Avenger,” which hauled in $176.7 million domestically in its lifetime. It only took 15 days to reach the milestone, which has become the norm for Marvel sequels following the yet-unbeatable success of “The Avengers” two years ago.

“Captain America” is on track to pass the $200 million mark by Sunday when it could add an estimated $24 million-plus to its cume.

“Rio 2” looks to benefit from the holiday timeframe with many children still on spring break. It’s headed toward a $23 million second frame, which would raise its cume to $76 million. The 3D comedy opened to $39.3 million last weekend, slightly edging out the $39.2 million launch of the original pic.

Meanwhile, “Transcendence” is headed for a disappointing $12 million-plus weekend opening. The sci-fi thriller, which reportedly cost $100 million to produce, is likely suffering from poor reviews (pic currently has a 19% Rotten Tomatoes meter). “Transcendence” could, however, make up for the loss overseas, where Depp has a strong fanbase.

Alcon Entertainment and China’s DMG Entertainment are co-financing the pic, which saw a day-and-date release in China.

The movie about a scientist whose consciousness is uploaded to a computer marks the latest Stateside dud for Depp. Aside from Disney’s mega-successful “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise (commanded more than $3.7 billion worldwide), 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 indie “The Rum Diary,” drew cumes of $80 million and $13 million, respectively.

Depp could redeem himself with his upcoming films, which include Rob Marshall’s fairytale screen mashup “Into the Woods,” the “Alice in Wonderland” sequel “Through the Looking Glass” and of course, the latest “Pirates” installment, 2016’s “Dead Men Tell No Tales.”

However, Friday was good to this year’s latest faith-based offering, “Heaven Is for Real.” The Christian drama was the best opener of the weekend, surprising with $7.9 million Friday and on track for an estimated five-day cume of $27 million. The Greg Kinnear-starrer kicked off the Easter weekend early on Wednesday with an opening-day gross of $3.7 million. “Heaven” took in an additional $3.3 million Thursday from 2,417 locations.

Sony looks to be meeting its goal of matching the success of Todd Burpo’s 2010 global bestseller, which the film is based on, as the account of Burpo’s then-4-year-old son’s near-death experience not only had a religious core, but also mass appeal. The audience skews female (62% female versus 38% male) with about half of theatergoers under 35.

The studio has not only cashed in on the booming business of religious films, but has hit the jackpot. Although it didn’t match the debut of Paramount’s “Noah,” “Heaven” cost just $12 million to produce.

It did beat Hollywood’s last religious release, Freestyle Releasing’s “God’s Not Dead,” which opened to $9 million at only 780 locations. However, Fox’s “Son of God,” the first of this year’s large slate of religious-themed wide releases, debuted to a higher gross in late February with $25.6 million.

“God’s Not Dead,” which reeled in $1.7 million, came in tenth on Friday. It will probably land in 11th place in its fifth weekend with $3.8 million, while “Noah” likely cracks into the top ten by Sunday.

Another newcomer and sequel, Open Road’s “A Haunted House 2” rounded out Friday’s top five with $4 million. The Marlon Wayans-starring comedy spoof is on track for $10 million. The first “Haunted House” opened to a more impressive $18 million last year and went on to earn $40 million Stateside.

Disney’s wildlife documentary “Bears” also opened on Friday to $2.3 million.

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  1. Terry says:

    Fail to see how this is Depp’s “flop”. He’s an actor. He didnt write, direct, film or write the musical score for it. He acted in it. That’s his job. Unless he did such a terrible job with an otherwise BRILLIANT set up it’s success or otherwise has little to do with him personally. ANyway, that said, I hope he chooses more wisely in the future – that’s the only “blame” you can throw his way. Meanwhile, the movies that do well in mainstream terms are never all that great either in my experience. He’d be better off looking for the more obscure, lower budget, indie movies even if they rarely win all the smug, nudge-nudge wink-wink, back-slapping, flavour of the month awards. It will be better for him and his reputation and much more fun for us viewers. As for those trying so so hard to sound clever and snide by attacking Mr Depp, fact is JD has put out a lot of quality movies over the years and is one of the best, most versatile & compelling actors around. He deserves respect for his craftsmanship, not ridicule for sometimes choosing the wrong project and/or a fickle public’s unpredictable taste in movies.

  2. AlT says:

    Tough break for both Johnny Depp and Arnold Schwarzenegger these past years…

    • Dk says:

      Of course he flops… he only has himself to blame. Why does he keep starring in these weird movies as of late? Make a “normal” movie and he’ll do much better. Just odd characters he’s playing. -.-

  3. aryedirect says:

    What a cruel headline, ‘Johnny Depp Flops Again’! There are so many factors involved in creating a box-office success that unless the actor turned in a hateful performance that sabotaged the entire film (which Mr. Depp is incapable of doing) the headline speaks more about the writer’s lack of knowledge than an actor’s skill.

  4. I like sci-fi, and i like Depp, so i’m seeing Transcendence.

  5. Carla says:

    I think people liked idea of former bad boy Depp turned family man. But when he hit midlife crisis and started running around with starlet young enough to be his daughter the bubble burst and he fell out of favor.

  6. Niall says:

    Actually enjoyed Transcendence AND Lone Ranger . Guess its Mr Depps turn in the crosshairs for the hacks . Must have gotten tired of shooting at Mr Cruise . I expect we should warn Mr Hardy . They are setting you up , to chop you down Tom . Brace yourself after the good reviews , it will be your turn in 2016 .

    • Jim says:

      Indeed, if Lone Ranger had been 40 minutes shorter, it would have been good, goofy fun instead of the endless, self-indulgent slog it turned out to be.

  7. Jim says:

    It helps if an actor is believable in a role.
    The only person who bought Depp as a leading intellectual,was Depp.
    He’s far more believable as a latent pirate.

  8. We liked Transcendence until the point of view entered -fear /loss of control and loss of faith. The choice was made that would rather put the entire human population back to the stone age instead of allowing healing, evolving and a grand new adventure spread. A few fearful jerks ruined a great vision for humanity. I think the film producers or maybe writers lost their nerve about putting something that could be truly inspirational out there, and out of the box. (sigh) At least in Her, when the OS evolved, she told the human to come find her when they caught up emotionally. In Transcendence, those who ruined the project were content in their shared misery and their mistaken notion “well, we were right…” They weren’t right. Anyway… progress still is made one funeral at a time. When the greedy fearful ones die off, then maybe the visionaries will take over.

  9. amy says:

    Entertainment industry cover up department: The supervising art director for Django Unchained, Interstellar (2014), Amazing Spider Man, Spider Man 3, Iron Man 1 &2, A Few Good Men, Lethal Weapon films, Charlies Angels and many other films lost at trial last month on charges of sexual a s s a u l t, libel (the director manipulated the director worshipping media with libel websites about the singer for years all over the net) and intentional infliction of emotional distress of award winning transgender singer Bralalalala. The director had been offering solicitation of the singers products but the singer did not realize it required sex until she was a s s a u l t e d on his couch after being declined a ride home. The girlfriend of the director lured the singer and other women to the house at other times on strictly platonic professional related pretenses. The directors effort to sue the singer and random others was dismissed. His effort to sue her for extortion, threatening her safety and false arrest was sick to say the least. The criminal case against the director remains pending and this civil case is not appealed. The case was not reported to keep the social status quo being that the victim is transgender and the assailant is a director of so many blockbuster films.

  10. Amy Lavender says:

    It seems that movies in general are not getting people out to the theatres anymore. With Netflix, On Demand etc… a movie has to be pretty darn good to get me out of the house and spend the time and money. Especially if reviews are mediocre. With that said, I like Johnny Depp but I am ready to see him in just one movie where he is not dressed like a cartoon character. Yes, I know in Transendence he is a “normal” guy. But, the plot seemed hard to follow. I was even a little lost when he was explaining it on David Letterman. Also, it might do him good to be on Fallon or SNL and talking less about his engagement.

  11. peter says:

    I was never a big Depp fan. Is Depp overrated and way overpaid?

  12. Janet J. says:

    When is the last time Johnny D. has had a hit besides being on the cover of Vanity Fair.

  13. Dw Dunphy says:

    Transcendence has arrived at the wrong time. This is an August movie if ever there was one. Plus, I guess the rumor that the US market can only hold extended attention spans for sequels and reboots is true…cynical and sad, but true.

    Oh, and please stop using the term “cume.” It is silly and beneath you.

  14. nelson says:

    Noah, the movie, is not a faith based movie (Christian that is.) It’s an environmentally faith based movie. And a horrible one to say the least ! Loving Aronofsky the director way to much Variety !! Noah, as of now, will not make to the top 10. Big budget flop !

  15. Steve says:

    I think it has to do with over saturation. And, also, a bit to do with the roles he’s choosing– Big tentpole movies rather than the “near” arthouse films he had done in the past. To that extent, if Tim Burton and Johnny Depp never worked together again, it’d would be the best thing for both of their careers.

    • Maybe the best thing for Depp’s and Burton’s careers, but at this point in those careers, “best” is a lil blip.

      Yal done good in your day, now fade away.

    • Paul says:

      What does Tim Burton have do to with this? The last time they worked together was 3 years ago and they won’t work together anytime soon. Give it a rest.

      • davebaxter says:

        Because Depp and Burton worked on 5 movies straight, without pause on Burton’s part (in the director chair at least, he did produce a few oddities in-between). The last was 2 (not 3) years ago, with Depp doing only Lone Ranger between that and now this one. So Burton/Depp largely defined Depps career for half a decade (with the exception/inclusion of the Pirates franchise of course), the peak of Depp’s popularity before his tentpoles started flagging at the box office starting with Lone Ranger.

  16. ThomT says:

    Although I’m looking forward to it I see “Into The Woods” as a hard sell even with the star studded cast. “Into The Woods”, although often performed, has never been a theatrical overachiever and although Sondheim musicals (in legit theaters) have a strong and loyal following they usually don’t have the broader audience appeal of titles like “Chicago”, “Dreamgirls” and “Mama Mia” all of which transferred to the screen successfully (at least financially).

  17. Roger Pugliese says:

    It is interesting to me that the writer of this article has to say “Depp could redeem himself with his upcoming films.” I don’t think Johnny Depp has to redeem himself for anyone. He is a very good actor and has always done great work on any project he is involved with.
    There are many other factors on why a film does well or not at the Box office. A more interesting article would be to explore that issue instead.

    • Depp’s “four consecutive flops” shriek for redemption.

    • bag says:

      when an actor takes north of $20 millions to play the same thing everytime, it’s only natural to explore the phenomenon, especially when audiences clearly show they are sick of it.
      Depp was the best of the 90s (careerwise) working for kusturica, gilliam. Now he’s just disney’s puppet…

      • Kat says:

        How is he playing the same thing everytime? Have you seen Transcendence? The role is nothing like anything he’s done before.

        The movie is produced by WB. and you say he’s “Disney’s puppet”? Why don’t you do your research before you talk nonesense?

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