'The Rum Diary': Johnny Depp Worst Wide-Release Box Office Debut Ever?

by Zac Gille

Assisted by costlier 3D tickets, Paramount/DreamWorks Animation's Puss in Boots may gross $36-$38 million this Halloween weekend, after taking in an estimated $9 million at 3,952 locations on Friday, according to The Hollywood Reporter. That would break Saw III's $33 million Halloween record of five years ago (not adjusted for inflation/3D surcharges) – though it would still be a relatively low figure for a DreamWorks release.

Directed by Chris Miller, the Shrek spin-off Puss in Boots features the voices of Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Billy Bob Thornton, Zach Galifianakis, Amy Sedaris, and Guillermo del Toro.

Other new releases didn't fare nearly as well as Puss in Boots. At no. 3, newcomer In Time drew a so-so $4.9 million and may go no further than $12-$13 million by Sunday evening. Andrew Niccol directed; Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried star in the futuristic drama. Reviews have been tepid for this Fox release produced by New Regency.

Faring considerably worse despite the presence of Johnny Depp – who, admittedly, doesn't often lure all that many ticket buyers when not donning his pirate costume – Bruce Robinson's The Rum Diary earned a paltry $1.7m-2 million at no. 5 and will likely have trouble reaching $6 million for the weekend. Based on Hunter S. Thompson's novel, The Rum Diary is screening at 2,272 locations; if estimates are correct, the film will have one of the worst wide openings of Depp's career. Also in the film's cast are Aaron Eckhart, Amber Heard, Giovanni Ribisi, and Richard Jenkins.

Greeted by mixed reviews, Roland Emmerich's Anonymous raked in a so-so $350,000 at 265 sites, as per Deadline.com. Its weekend opening should be slightly over $1 million. The “Shakespearean” drama features Rhys Ifans, Vanessa Redgrave, Joely Richardson, Rafe Spall, Xavier Samuel, and David Thewlis.

At no. 2, Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman's Paranormal Activity 3 collected an estimated $7.3 million, down more than 70 percent from last Friday – well, which included $8 million from Thursday midnight screenings; else, PA3 was down about 59 percent. Weekend earnings should top $20 million.

Footloose was the no. 4 movie, pulling in $2 million on Friday. Featuring Kenny Wormald and Julianne Hough, the dance-movie remake is expected to gross $6 million over the weekend.

In Time photo: Stephen Vaughan / 20th Century Fox

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5 comments

vijaya shree -

hi, i am a big big fan of johnny depp, the movie got released JUST NOW , so we cant say that its a flop…. wat every they say johnny i am with ,, i am an INDIAN so i am so eagerly waiting for the movie to be realized
in INDIA … LOVE YOU JOHNNY

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LMMSSAV1946 -

Just wanted ti say don't count The Rum Diary out yet. It's not been released in enough theaters yet. It's only showing in one theater in my area and that theater is over 50 miles away. When it's showing closed to home I'll be there. I'm looking forward to buying it on BluRay too.

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rachel -

Hey..why are you so rude with Johnny? When Johnny did Alice in Wonderland he didn't use a pirate costume! And that movie was a BIG HIT. Don't say nonsense..and Johnny DEPP STILL often lure to the people..truth! The thing is this movie is not a BIG movie..is a weird movie ,IS NOT COMMERCIAL LIKE PUSS IN BOOTS..GOT IT? I LOVE YOU JOHNNY!

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zac -

@Maha,

I clearly say “often” — not “always.” (I was thinking of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “Alice in Wonderland.”)

Now, the super-expensive “The Tourist” was a major box-office disappointment in North America (less than $70m) though it did quite well overseas.

“Rango” wasn't a “Johnny Depp Movie.” As for “Sweeney Todd,” it took in less than $53m domestically and less than $100m overseas. That's hardly a major hit — especially the domestic figures.

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Maha -

“Faring considerably worse despite the presence of Johnny Depp — who, admittedly, doesn't often lure all that many ticket buyers when not donning his pirate costume —”
Um… you missed The Tourist earlier in the year? AIW, Sweeney Todd, Rango…
This film was never gonna be a big hitter. It's not a mainstream movie, it's unconventional, not outrageously advertised… ofcourse its in the position it's in. Doesn't necessarily mean it's not worth watching- it just sets a very specific audience.
Can't wait to watch it.

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