Johnny Depp’s box office acclaim has joined his critical acclaim: in the gutter.
The once-revered actor’s new flick, “Minamata,” had a dismal opening weekend after being released in US theaters on Friday, Feb. 5. While the 57-year-old could previously rake in more than $10 million for a single scene, his name no longer appears to be a reliable promise of profitability, as the new movie has so far brought in less than $15,000, according to IMDB Pro’s Box Office Mojo.
While the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has negatively impacted movie incomes industry-wide, “Minamata” failed to make even the top 18 domestic gross films over the three-day period, losing out to the Serbian historical drama “Dara of Jasenovac,” which reportedly raked in just $15,011, as well as the slasher comedy “Freaky,” which hit theaters 13 weeks ago and made $25,000 over the weekend.
“Minamata” is based on the same-name book about Life magazine war photographer W. Eugene Smith, whose travels in Japan documented the effects of mercury poisoning in a small town. Portraying Smith, Depp looks nothing like himself and is “all but unrecognizable behind sun damage, liver spots and a sparse, spackled-on beard — in what feels like an extension of the gonzo Hunter S. Thompson performance he delivered in ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,’ ” according to Variety’s review of the flick.
The film premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival in February 2020 and was significantly Depp’s creation, its director told Deadline last year. “This is Johnny’s concept, Johnny’s idea, something that he felt quite passionate about,” Andrew Levitas said.
While COVID-19 continues to undeniably be a huge financial blow to new releases, so does Depp’s recent legal fallout after losing a libel case with a British newspaper over allegations of repeatedly beating his ex-wife, Amber Heard. “You simply can’t work with him now,” a studio head said of Depp, following the court’s decision. “He’s radioactive.”