Wiki-Lame: Fictional Assange Movie Is Worst Flop of 2013

For anyone who thought WikiLeaks was a fascinating cinematic subject, The Hollywood Reporter is already offering an obituary: “The Fifth Estate quickly died, grossing a paltry $1.7 million from 1,769 theaters -- the worst opening of the year so far for a movie opening in more than 1,500 theaters.”

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has repeatedly criticized Bill Condon's film for Disney’s Touchstone label for a slanted presentation of himself and WikiLeaks. At one point, he even wrote a note to actor Benedict Cumberbatch asking the actor to drop out of the movie.

The Hollywood Reporter added “On the eve of Fifth Estate's domestic debut, Assange -- who remains holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London -- even Skyped with members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, predicting that Condon's movie would fail because it didn't present a proper underdog story.”

"We're disappointed with these results," said Disney distribution chief Dave Hollis, noting that “Fifth Estate” did best in [liberal] big cities, including New York, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and Toronto.

The should-be-friendly Huffington Post reported: “With just $1.7 million in ticket sales since Friday night, ‘The Fifth Estate’ now owns the ignominious title of worst wide-release opening of 2013.” It  averaged just $969 per theater during its opening weekend, while “Carrie” debuted at more than $5,000 a screen.

Assange and his crew tried to damage the film’s prospects by offering free viewing of its own documentary “Mediastan.” Assange promoted himself: "Why is everybody watching David? Because Goliath is an insufferable bore."

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis