Saturday, June 15, 2024

Box Office: Johnny Depp’s Bad Movies Catch Up to Him as “Black Mass” Has Rocky Start


You can only make so many bad movies before the movie audience gives up on you. Such may be the case for Johnny Depp. His new film, “Black Mass,” well regarded, directed by Scott Cooper with a terrific supporting cast, had a rocky launch last night at the box office. The gangster movie about Whitey Bulger took in just $8.8 million. Original estimates of a $30 million weekend seem overly enthusiastic now, with $25-$27 million more realistic.

That’s not good. “Black Mass” was being trumpeted as an Oscar candidate. A lot of money has been spent on promotion.

This was supposed to be Depp’s comeback from a run of miserable films. They include the huge disaster, “The Lone Ranger,” and the mild disaster “Mortdecai.” Aside from “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies, Depp hasn’t had anything resembling a hit in a long long time.

Earlier this week, Depp appeared at the Toronto Film Festival premiere of “Black Mass” looking bloated and uncomfortable. He’s clearly aiming to follow the path of the late Marlon Brando, and you wonder why. Brando was not a role model for anything except self indulgence. Depp would do a lot better to shake that idea off and come back to Earth immediately.

That said, “Black Mass” is very entertaining and well worth seeing this weekend. Joel Edgerton and Julianne Nicholson are among the stellar players in it. Cooper did a great job. Forget comparisons to Scorsese or anyone else. Just enjoy it for what it is.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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