‘Fifth Estate’ director blames box office bomb on Julian Assange, not Cumberbatch


As last week wore on, I grew increasingly agitated and jumpy. Where was my Benedict Cumberbatch? For weeks and even months, there was SO MUCH Cumberbatch and then he just went away. I suffered from a severe case of Cumberbatch Withdrawal Syndrome, which doctors are still trying to figure out. Thankfully, I’m at a point now where I will literally use ANY excuse to discuss my beloved, and I just found a great one. Remember how The Fifth Estate bombed really badly? Like, it’s one of the biggest bombs of the year, if not the biggest. So far it’s only made (gulp) $3 million.

I actually liked the movie – it played fast and loose with the facts of what really went down, but Benedict’s Julian Assange was compelling, an enigma wrapped in mystery, covered in unconventional sex appeal and a terrible wiglet (I would have banged the wiglet though). Incidentally, that was one of the reasons I was happy that Benedict played Assange – both men have an unconventional, sometimes strange, sometimes creepy kind of sex appeal. But apparently I’m alone in that sentiment, at least according to the film’s director, Bill Condon. Condon theorizes that The Fifth Estate bombed because we’re suffering from Assange Oversaturation:

Not even the Cumberbitches could save it. By all accounts, The Fifth Estate — Bill Condon’s movie about WikiLeaks mastermind Julian Assange, starring Benedict Cumberbatch — was a box office disaster. After a lukewarm reception at Toronto and opening to mixed reviews last month, the film has only made a little over $3 million since its Oct. 18 release. Director Condon told EW he blames the lackluster response on Assange.

“We were all so excited [around the release date] because it was just in the news recently, but the opposite might be true, that it simply wore out its welcome and that there is something about Assange. I do think there’s something about him that does not suggest an evening’s entertainment,” Condon said.

Assange has reportedly called the unauthorized biopic “a massive propaganda attack,” and even urged Cumberbatch to quit the film.

The director, who is currently staging a reboot of the 1997 musical Sideshow at the La Jolla Playhouse near San Diego, Calif., admitted that he was shocked by the sheer lack of audience.

“It’s so interesting because when something doesn’t live up to expectations then, God, you really start second guessing if it was this little thing [you missed], but when something is as big a rout as this is — I mean truly there turned out to be no audience for it in a major way — it’s kind of extreme, you know? It really does make you look at the bigger picture.”

Prior to directing The Fifth Estate, Condon helmed the last two Twilight films — to a very different tune as far as audience is concerned. “It’s great, especially in light of this last movie, to have a movie that people were waiting for as opposed to running away from,” he quipped.

[From Entertainment Weekly]

It feels sort of like, “Eh, just blame it on Assange and move on.” Not that Condon is entirely wrong – Assange is such a divisive person, and while I find his complexity compelling, most people are just exhausted by him. That being said, Condon needs to own part of the failure too. The direction was not all that, and the script was a mangled mess of storytelling and half-truths. I know I’m a super-crazy fan-girl, but Benedict’s performance was the only part of the movie that was worth a damn.

In other Benedict news, he appeared on a TV special celebrating 50 years of The Royal National Theater in England. You can see some photos of Ben here (we don’t have access to them), and here’s a budget video of just Benedict’s part, where he’s doing part of Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.

Sigh… Cumberfulfilled. At least momentarily. This man is like my dong heroin.



Photos courtesy of PR Photos, The Fifth Estate.

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98 Responses to “‘Fifth Estate’ director blames box office bomb on Julian Assange, not Cumberbatch”

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  1. eliza says:

    I think it’s the terrible wig he wore that sunk this film.

  2. T.fanty says:

    Hooray! Wholesome Cumby goodness for breakfast on a chilly Monday morning. I’ve been waiting for this.

    He looked good at the NT thing. Did an okay job with one of my favorite speeches. Sadly, not as good as Gary Oldman, who OWNS this role:

    The other guy, whose role was apparently just Not Cumberbatch did admirably well at not being Cumberbatch. Good job, sir.

    • epiphany says:

      Oldman owns everything he’s in – greatest actor of his generation. Even “movie stars” like Clooney and Pitt, with much more name recognition – and much less talent – are in awe of Gary. No actor on the scene today can touch him – sorry Cumberbitches!

    • ncmagnolia says:

      I don’t feel even a teensy bit guilty for agreeing with your assessment of Oldham. Simply put, he’s a total master of his craft.

      My beloved Ben will be that great one day, too. He’s already on the right track, if he keeps his body of work as sharp as GO’s. God, Fanty…why’d you post that link? I’m good for nothing for the rest of the day now. Between posts about Oldham and Ben, what did you THINK would happen to my productivity?

  3. GeeMoney says:

    I agree. In the US, not many of us care about Assange or what’s going on with him.

    And as much as I love Cumberbatch, the subject matter of this film couldn’t get me to theater.

    • Green Girl says:

      I agree with you on all points. I just can’t justify spending that much on a ticket for this kind of movie. I rarely see movies in theatres, so when I do, I like to watch something more entertaining.

  4. A says:

    How on earth can you blame Assange? He kind sorta tried to sabotage the film but he’s not the one who decided to make it. Maybe if he’s disliked and exhausting the people making the film shouldn’t have made it???????

    • Belle says:

      Thank you… +1, ^^^This.

    • CHED says:

      Cumberbatch is not leading man status with no name recognition outside this site. For example, I would have never gone to see an Astronaut movie (Gravity) had Sandra Bullock and George Clooney not been in it. Turns out it was the best movie I have seen this year! But my point is that I went because they were the lead actors.

  5. curlsunited says:

    I have yet to see “The Fifth Estate” in a non-dubbed version, but I watched the National Theatre’s birthday party on BBC2. Now all I can say is: GIVE US HAMLET!
    Loved the costume by the way :-)

  6. Kiddo says:

    Condon needs to own all of the failure. He picked the subject. He directed the story, he took a “story” with a position, lacking in facts, with a living person, the end. At least he didn’t blame the actors.

    If he had engaged Assange, and balanced the narration, more people might have shown up, myself included.

    • Sloane Wyatt says:

      I view Condon’s hatchet job as a massive propaganda fail. Maybe we don’t want to give a government mouthpiece our money. Good Riddance!

  7. Eve says:


    And I’d f*ck CumbAssange — wiglet, fake teeth and all.

    • T.fanty says:

      *clutches CB imaginary marriage certificate to her chest and glares at the interloper Eve*

      • Eve says:

        Oh, come on!…I’m not claiming he’s my imaginary husband anymore.

        Plus, it’s CumbAssange and CumberKhan I want to nail to the wall — not Cumberbatch (lies, we both know that, but let’s pretend that’s actually what’s happening here).

      • T.fanty says:

        CumberAssange? Really? I’ll take CumberKhan, Sherlock, Rosencrantz and Benny the blue-suited bitch.

      • Eve says:


        But, please, note that I said “CumbAssange AND CumberKhan”. You can have all the rest.

    • lower-case deb says:

      as an interloper in this conversation, i shall take a Cumb-aya approach and take whatever’s leftover, Ghost of Cumberfuture, for instance, any Shakespeare!batch–Cumberlet Hamberbatch, Cumberolanus, etc etc.
      in Cumber we lust.

  8. Jen says:

    Poor Cumberbatch. But I agree with the director – it was a strange decision to make the film now, when the real Assange is still hanging about being vocal, and when he so recently completely dominated the news.

    Had it been maybe ten, twenty years later, I think it would have had a bit of success as a cerebral take on a divisive figure – but if the figure’s still wandering around dividing things and you only have to turn on CNN, it feels a bit needless.

    • T.fanty says:

      Plus, as Sixer (whom I miss) and I have discussed before, there’s a really strange apathy from the general public about the leaking and possession of classified information (possibly engendered by the fact that Assange is a twat). Snowdon has barely made a ripple in the public consciousness. If people don’t care about the topic in real life, they certainly aren’t trekking to the movie theaters to find out more.

      • Miss M says:

        “Snowdon has barely made a ripple in the public consciousness. If people don’t care about the topic in real life, they certainly aren’t trekking to the movie theaters to find out more.” Precisely. Nobody is talking about it. Is it due to lack of interest or being afraid to talk about this type of topic?

      • Kiddo says:

        What happened to Sixer? I hope everything is okay.

      • T.fanty says:


        I think that – with Snowdon in particular – people don’t want to recognize their complicity in giving away these rights when they sign on to social media or to use an email server. Moreover, at the risk of sounding paranoid, I think the mainstream media isn’t really touching it because they don’t want their own information practices being held up to scrutiny.

      • Sloane Wyatt says:

        T.Fanty, I agree with “people don’t want to recognize their complicity in giving away these rights when they sign on to social media or to use an email server. Moreover, at the risk of sounding paranoid,” and I have to say I paranoid. I hate that my electronic footprint is spied upon everywhere I go on the net, and I hate the sensation of the corporate/government peeping in on me in the bathroom.

        Who wants to go see how the sausage is made when we’re the farm animals?

      • T.Fanty says:


        What a great way of putting it. Apathy is a HUGE problem in this culture (and side-eye to Russell Brand for REALLY not helping on that front), and I think that people don’t want to be confronted with the actual need to *do* something more proactive then post a “like if you hate oppression” e-card on their facebook page.

      • Kiddo says:

        I disagree entirely. Yes, you give away info on social media like Facebook, but some of us opt out of that clusterf*. Private communication (like personal telephone calls), encrypted computer data, should not be monitored. Those things were made to be private, unless of course, law enforcement got a warrant for cause, if there was some evidence of a crime. What I post on the internet is for public consumption. What I say to my sister or friends should be my business, since I’m not a criminal. Sorry, this just pisses me off to no end.

      • T.Fanty says:

        @ Kiddo,

        I’m not disagreeing that this kind of information SHOULD be confidential – of course it should. But, where we are responsible is in the purchasing (identified here as use) of this product. Who can tell me what even the CB policies are that we sign up for? I *think* it’s don’t be mean, don’t be abusive and don’t be a bigot. But I barely paid attention to the red tape when I was rushing to offer my commentary on the very important topic of what Hiddles keeps in his trousers. I’m sure that in every cellphone clause, there’s some language that covers the cellphone company’s ass in the event that our personal information is to be surrendered to a third party. Yes, what the government is doing is entirely inappropriate, BUT not all of the companies who surrendered our rights did so under court order.

        My point is that we continually readjust our boundaries of what’s acceptable in the face of convenience. And social media has created a culture that believes that simply making a statement is a form of protest. Real protest involves sacrifice and effort – could you imagine how quickly facebook would capitulate if the entire body of facebook users refused to engage in FB for just one day? Perhaps it’s simply the pressures of real life in a time of economic hardship, or perhaps it’s internet induced apathy, or perhaps it’s that (in this country, anyway), the debate about politics has become so polarized, to stand up and demand change marks you as an anti-American potential terrorist, but people aren’t willing to make such sacrifices to make a point. Therefore, it’s easier to shut one’s eyes to the abuses gone on in the name of patriotism, instead shrugging and saying “all govermnents are corrupt, but what are you going to do?” I’m not saying we’re accountable (and nor should we be), but we are complicit in this.

      • Algernon says:

        I wonder if it’s apathy so much as we just accept that invasion is part of the deal. Like you said, we know what we’re getting into with email, Twitter, etc. Look at the recent revelations about the NSA and access to emails/cell phones. People were overwhelmingly meh about it, but not because of apathy, I think, but because we all kind of expect it. There was a feeling of, “Of course the government is listening. That’s what they do.” I think part of our American consciousness is a certain kind of low-level paranoia. We’re personal security freaks but that’s because we live with the expectation of our personal security being invaded. It’s a bizarre cycle.

        More to this movie and Assange in particular, people just don’t care about the story. It doesn’t matter who directed it, starred in it, anything. The Wikileaks stuff went down after Abu Ghraib. That was the tearing away of the veil with our military and what was happening in the war(s) in relation to public perception. After that, everything just felt like, “Well yeah. What did you think they were doing?” It’s like the spying stuff. We just expect it, to an extent.

      • Eve says:

        @ T.Fanty:

        “But I barely paid attention to the red tape when I was rushing to offer my commentary on the very important topic of what Hiddles keeps in his trousers.”

        Same with me:


      • Kiddo says:

        I get what you are saying. But since everything is being monitored, speaking out vociferously on the internet is *one* form of protestation, since you are not anonymous. It’s not enough, I agree. No where in any phone contract does it say that the government has access to all calls. No where in computer hardware or software were disclosures of surveillance in spite of encryption. By breaking those codes, the government also gives a backdoor to hackers who might like your data for nefarious purposes. Like I said, what I post here, or other places, I can accept that it is public. If you are displaying your entire life on Facebook, then you are giving away everything, and not just to the government, but to corporations who don’t have your interests at heart. I choose not to partake.

      • T.Fanty says:


        I get that, and agree, but that’s kind of Kiddo’s point, right? That we’ve become adjusted to certain liberties being revoked. Getting more conspiracy theorist, the government (both Bush’s and Obama’s) have used the rhetoric of terror and post 9/11 hysteria to erode our civil liberties to this point, and it’s partially our fault for not standing up and saying “enough.” I grew up next to London during the era of the IRA and have been caught in more bomb scares than I care to remember, but this kind of personal invasion didn’t happen until 9/11. And as Kiddo says above, in ceding these liberties, we’re allowing corporations who bankroll politicians for all the various reasons that they do, to take advantage of these loopholes. The only way to protest is with our feet (as it were) and people don’t care enough to do that. So they retreat behind the “why should I care if I have nothing to hide?” rhetoric and allow the erosion of our rights to go unmarked.

        @ Eve,
        Clearly the only conclusion to be reached from this is that Hiddles is a government stooge, put in place to distract us with his gyrating hips and Hiddledong while nefarious NSA agents sneak in behind us and read our diaries. That bastard.

      • Eve says:

        @ T.Fanty:

        If that’s the case…I’m doomed.

      • T.Fanty says:

        You’re DEFINITELY doomed when they discover half the crap you have on your computer, if all the gifs you send me are anything to go by.

      • Sloane Wyatt says:


        Yes, I too have opted out of the clusterf*ck that is Facebook. To avoid tracking, I also use DuckDuckGo https://duckduckgo.com/about as my browser instead of Google. Using a more private email app is next on my privacy to do list. If everyone took basic steps, we would send a massive FU to our Corporate Masters.

        You wrote “of course, law enforcement got a warrant for cause, if there was some evidence of a crime.” Terrifyingly, “private communication (like personal telephone calls), encrypted computer data” IS monitored by NSA’s PRISM, with absolutely NO evidence of any crime. I realize you already know that under the Patriot Act and other sweeping new powers, warrantless surveillance is the rule of today, but we must continue our scrutiny of those who spy on us everyday citizens just because they can.

        @ T.Fanty (and everyone really)

        Apathy, IMO, is generated when you feel helpless and powerless, so I hope the above easy privacy protecting steps above catch on. I encourage anyone who cares about their privacy loss and liberty to do whatever you can to stand up against Fortress America, our National-Security State. – http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/03/world/no-morsel-too-minuscule-for-all-consuming-nsa.html

      • stellalovejoydiver says:

        Snowdon caused a huge damage in the German-American relations, because it was revealed that the NSA doesn´t just spy on regular citizens all over the world, but they also were tapping the mobil telefone of cancellor Angela Merkel, probably from the American Embassy in Berlin.
        There’s currently a discussion whether we give him political asyl.

      • Kiddo says:

        @stellalovejoydiver, Snowden caused no damage. Merkel will never grant asylum. She was in on the spying, but didn’t like that she was being spied on.

      • Chrissy says:

        The best book (and easiest to follow and implement) about being anonymous online that I have found is How to Be Anonymous Online by Anna Eydie

        She also has a blog with updates that are very good.

      • Sloane Wyatt says:

        Thanks, Chrissy!

  9. Miss M says:

    “This man is like my dong heroin”

    *shakes heads in disapproval* What a horrible addiction choice…

    • Nicka says:

      I just…can’t fathom why anyone would be obsessed with his looks. I understand every woman has her own tastes, but if he’s really “dong heroin,” then he’s the low grade, cut-with-so-much-other-crap-that-it’s-not-even-really-drugs-anymore heroin.

    • Maria says:


  10. KC says:

    Gotta love the Cumberbitches scrambling to shield their lizard king. I expect they’ll be blaming his wardrobe people shortly. Too late Cumberbitches, we dun realised that the emperor has no clothes. He can go back to playing supporting roles, a Leading man he most certainly isnt. Whos the next flash in the pan, I wonder.

    • eliza says:

      Agree wholeheartedly. Never understood this dudes appeal. He creeps me out.

    • ag-UK says:

      I agree. I try to say to friends in all walks of life oh I like him.. WHO or if they know they give me this shutter reaction as in yes I know and no I don’t care. (:

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      I like him, but I wouldn’t call myself a Cumberbitch. Every review I’ve read has praised his performance. Not sure this will hurt him.

    • Is it possible to save what I already wrote & attach the correct e-mail address or must I start all over?

    • KC, it seems rather unfair to say that BC is not of ‘leading man’ quality & should be consigned to supporting roles. Am not sure how you define ‘leading man’ but in most of the roles he has played to date, & they are many, his name is at the top of the cast of characters. He has been nominated twice for an emmy & once for a Golden Globe in the leading actor category. So, lady, what gives? Are you narrowing your definition to exclude the more subtle manly quality BC projects in favor of a more in-your-face (or elsewhere) interpretation? As for Assange, Condon is right—you can’t blame BC because the ASS is so unattractive & so yesterday’s news. We can debate ‘leading’ but the bottom line imho is that BC is one of the finest, most gifted & most charismatic actors around. In my book we stirike the ‘L’ & replace it with a ‘W’, to wit, Wizard.

  11. Feebee says:

    I’m not so much over Assange as never really cared. Is he actually that complex or is it the strange world he finds himself in? The one where people like me are conflicted about him and his actions and agenda.

    No, the Cumberbitches couldn’t save the film, there’s simply not enough of them. They’re a niche cult, found in high concentrations in places like Tumblr and in smaller but as potent doses here at Celebitchy. These are “safe” places. In the outside world there’s too many “who?”s to enable them to corral a group of friends to see something like The Fifth Estate.

    • KC says:

      Agreed. His fans tend to congregate in specific sites. Those sites end up being echo chambers and can make it appear that he is alot more famous/popular than he really is. When the only film has really helmed flops it then triggers some major navel gazing. Its not that complicated though, movie stars have been drawing audiences to crappy or badly timed films since the beginning of film making. Thats the point of a movie star ergo Cumber isnt a movie star.

      Just to illustrate my point, consider that Aniston who is perpetually derided for NOT being a movie star, always delivers a healthy profit her films grossing between 20 to 30 million.

      • Katie says:


        You’re correct in his small fan concentrations, but studios don’t go into these things as blind as everyone seems to think. They analyze media and knew Cumberbatch wasn’t a draw going in. Biofilms aren’t leading man vehicles.

        Cumberbatch wasn’t cast to put butts in the seat (look at the whole cast, tbh, none of them are draws but all solid character actors) but because he’s a good character actor with some buzz.

        Critical buzz+awards talk was supposed to the big draw, as it was an awards project for DW, but that didn’t happen.

  12. ag-UK says:

    The film was slow and I saw it because I was a fan but 2 hours I cannot get back. As for Cumberbatch laying low he needs to I think he was everywhere and he needs to go away for a bit so I at least will be interested again. I saw the little bit of him on the NT which was good , there are a few photos around of him his little blue cap :) I think that might be the only style hat that suits his face/head. I like them I might get myself one in tartan though.

  13. Adrien says:

    Mark Zuckerberg/Facebook were also all over the media but Social Network was a hit. No Assange oversaturation. Wikileaks is too complicated for many moviegoers. Julian shouldn’t celebrate the film’s box office result as it may also mean that he is an uninteresting subject.
    Benedict Cumberbatch isn’t a box office draw, well not yet but I don’t think it was his fault.

    • Katie says:


      Yep. That’s why Assange kept drawing attention to the movie, despite his ‘complaints’. Doesn’t want to be forgotten, but he largely has been.

      With any bio films, the subject and critical reception is the main draw, not the cast (ie, Leo’s BO power wasn’t enough to cancel out the lack of interest and poor reviews for J. Edgar). A hot subject and good reviews is how Social Network was a hit despite a relative unknown in the lead.

      I realize some people can’t stand Cumberbatch, but Dreamworks knew he didn’t equal dollar signs and this won’t affect him, tbh, unless the Imitation Game is also crap. It’s Condon and Singer who will take the blame since critics pointed fingers at the script and direction. Honestly, Condon is probably sunk now given his record.

  14. Axis2ClusterB says:

    I just don’t get it.

  15. Dap says:

    People who don’t like Assange or his politics are not going to pay to watch a movie about him. People who like Assange and his politics are not going to pay to watch a movie which is biaised against him. Who is left?

  16. stellalovejoydiver says:

    As long as it’s not blamed on Daniel Brühl, I’m fine.

  17. Felice says:

    I’m sure The Imitation Game will be better. The set photos look good and I’m very tickled that he got his cheek on with a bystander.

    I honestly just liked the dancing in TFE and now want DUC to dance with me ^_^

  18. Ice Maiden says:

    I just don’t think it was a very good idea for a film, at least not at this point in time. I was quite shocked when I heard they were going to make a film about Assange. I mean, I’ve followed the whole Wikileaks story quite closely and am definitely interested in it, but even I never considered going to this film.

    Making a film about a still developing story just seems silly. The fact that it got lousy reviews can’t have helped either.

  19. Abby says:

    I missed Cumby posts of Kaiser too :D . Finally we get one…yay Monday morning made.

    I saw his part on NT live programme. He was lovely as usual though I did wish he had more to do. But still I’ll take even those 5 minutes over nothing lol.

    The obsession with BC is increasing **I need help

  20. Eve says:


    • T.Fanty says:

      It’s because you tried to take my Cumberkhan away from me. I need a man with leather pants and a leaf blower.

      • Eve says:

        Let’s be fair now: I claimed CumberKhan as my favourite Cumby-version a waaaaaaaaaaaay before you did (don’t make me search for the post here on CB).

        By the way, I’m certain I sent you the link — via Twitter — to that leaf blower picture (sans editing).

      • T.Fanty says:

        Yes, and then you relinquished your claim on CumberKhan and I’m not sure that I want to give him back. He is seriously better at EVERYTHING.

        (oh, except stealing roles from Gary Oldman)

      • Eve says:

        Don’t put words in my mouth.

        I relinquished my claim on Benedict Cumberbatch the Man…during the RovaGate times. But NEVER the one on CumberKhan (I can also find the post where I stated that).

  21. grabbyhands says:

    Bill Condon is just miffed that his chance to make people forget that he directed the last two crappy Twilight movies flopped. He SHOULD be making it known that he doesn’t blame Cumberbatch for the film doing poorly-review after review praised both BC and Daniel Bruhl and placed the blame squarely on a badly executed story.

    • Tulip says:

      Thank-you! I went in not knowing all that much about wikileaks and the whole thing was tedious. Perhaps they should have broken it up and made one movie for the top two or three leaks, instead of cramming it all in for 1 movie.

  22. rtms says:

    I think it was the title that threw people off. Why not just call it Wiki leaks story etc. Instead they try to sound all serious with THE FIFTH EST and people think it may be some news special but not a movie.

    • curlsunited says:

      Interesting point. In France, for example, the translation of the title is “Le cinquième pouvoir”, also in Italy (Il quinto potere), whereas in Germany they went for “Inside WikiLeaks – die fuenfte Gewalt”. Let’s see if that helps.

  23. Lia says:

    The story line was boring. Assange is not an interesting person, even if Cumby himself is playing the role. That’s why the movie bombed.

  24. MissMary says:

    I think it’s a case of a day late and a dollar short. The US audiences, at least ,have “moved on” from Assange and Assange himself is not that interesting as a person. I’ve heard nothing but good things about the cast’s acting with “the material they had” but the material, from all reports, was dull.

  25. Joanie says:

    Cumby will be in LA tomorrow for the Jaguar BAFTA Awards, so we’ll be getting more of him shortly, never fear!

    • curlsunited says:

      Nothing wrong with Cumby getting the award for British Artist of the Year, he has definitely deserved it. I find it just a bit awkward that the Awards are sponsored by the same car company for which he has done commercials.

      • T.Fanty says:

        Although, to be fair, it’d be really funny if they bundled him into a cello the moment he walked onstage.

      • curlsunited says:

        Fetching thought. His acceptance speech will render female fans unconscious.

        I’m okay with that if they first let him walk the red carpet in, what we hope, is a blue suit. After the cello he can smoke a cigar inside a grand piano.

  26. icerose says:

    I was interested in seeing the film but in the end the biased source material, the unnecessary and tacky publicising of Assange’s emails to Benny and the general poor reviews put me off. I decided it was better to leave it for now and watch it when I am less like to be prejudiced by the surrounding publicity.
    I think the UK press focus on Benny did not help. All the articles predicting Oscar nominations and how he had three films at Tiff just reached saturation point . Daniel Radcliffe who also had 3 films at TIFF was completely overlooked and he got some good reviews. The press highlighted Benny’s small role in 12 years a slave completely over looking Chiwetel Ejiofor, attendance and in the end he was the most praised Brit out there.
    It made the films failure look even worse than it was. Instead of being a small indie film that did okay it became a much heralded film that flopped.But he is a good actor and I am sure there will be better films to come.

  27. Alexandra says:

    Most people here in theU.S are ignorant and could care less for actual knowledge. Not the crap that the news are fed to the masses. People think they know the truth but they care less to read for the facts. Needless, to say most people are ignorant. I am sure they would know about a celebrity, but actual current or historic FACTS that would never happen

  28. Dommy Dearest says:

    Yeah cause it’s NOT based a book that puts Assange in a negative light. Pfft. A lot of the american public is still sleeping and quite unaware of the good he did with Wikileaks and views him as a traitor while the other half commends him for exposing the lies our government is weaved and webbed upon. Should have chose a better book you asshats.

    Besides, why should we the american public care about Assange and Wikileaks anyways when we have the Kartrashians and Miley Cyrus? Let them stay asleep director sir, let them sleep.

  29. lunchcoma says:

    If there’s something about Assange that doesn’t suggest an evening’s entertainment, then perhaps he’s a poor subject for a film. It’s obviously not the cast’s fault, but I blame the film makers rather than the subject. I don’t think it was realistic to expect this to be anything close to a mainstream movie. Most people are bored or confused by the issues involved, there’s presumably no real action in the piece, Assange isn’t a likable figure, and those who are fans of his work likely boycotted the movie due to the negative portrayal.

    • Ruth Dunbar says:

      I tend to agree with what you’re saying here. I saw the film, and it was fine. Cumberbatch did a great job or, at the very least, the best he could do with the script, but I think the real challenge here was to make a film (that was essentially about two dudes looking at computer screens) interesting and engaging. A film that people are going to want to spend a few hours and a small wad of cash on. I don’t believe the filmmakers succeeded in that regard.

  30. Baskingshark says:

    Oh, I just CANNOT with this guy…. I just spent ten minutes looking at that bottom picture of him smiling, thinking “wow he really reminds me of someone here, who the hell is it?” Then I realised, it’s Bob from Bob’s Burgers:


  31. Anon33 says:

    Nothing to do with the story per se but guys I just watched a video of him doing a Chewbacca impression and…I get it now. I’m not crushing on him because I’m busy enough with Messrs. McGregor and Hamm but I TOTALLY get why everyone else is. He has a quality in person that photos do not capture at all.
    I was wrong.

  32. tallo says:

    I swa the movie and I thought Benny and Daniel were really good as well as the rest of the cast- the film itself was overlong and had some lame special effects which let it down- they should have trimmed at least half an hour off and maybe more people would have gone to see it- Bennys wiglet is definitely worth a look!

  33. Ally8 says:

    Depending on how you measure these things, “Diana” could be a worse flop, with total earnings of just $64,914, although this breaks down to $1,708 per location, compared to “The Fifth Estate”‘s $1,673,351 total, or $226 per location. Still, “Diana”‘s earnings amounting to less than the price of a Volvo is pretty embarrassing.

    I think the conclusion you could draw from these two flops together is that there is little interest in the fictionalized lives of highly mediated celebrities, i.e. we’ve already seen it all extensively as detailed non-fiction in real time — no need for a 1.5-hour reenactment.

    I guess “Diana” will have a long and prosperous life on the ladies’ cable channels, anyway.

  34. Bridget says:

    Yeesh, spending my money and my time watching a movie about Julian Assange? NO THANKS. Condon is correct: total amd complete misfire.

  35. Vera says:

    I don’t blame Cumberbatch for the failure of the film at all. I think the ship SS Assange has sailed a while back, and the general public isn’t interested in him.