Thursday, May 30, 2024

Johnny Depp’s Career Had Already Tanked Long Before the Amber Heard Marriage, Divorce, and Trial


Now that the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard trial is over, it’s time to get a grip on reality.

Depp’s career was already in the tank long before he and Heard put on their cavalcade of horrors for all the world to see.

The misery of Depp’s resume has nothing to do with Heard. Aside from “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies, his list of roles in box office flops was well chronicled here and in other places.

Maybe you’ve forgotten “The Lone Ranger,” a spectacular failure in which he played Tonto. How about “Mortdecai”? Or “Black Mass”? Surely you remember “Transcendence”? ($23 million total). Or “Richard Says Goodbye”? ($325K– not sure it was ever released.)

Even “Alice Through the Looking Glass” was a bust in this country– $77 million, although it did well abroad where English comprehension wasn’t an issue. Then there’s “London Fields,” the movie that brought him together with Heard. When it was finally released after many swipes at re-cutting, the film was seen by no one.

Depp has had four flops just since 2019 including the most recent, “Minimata,” which made $610K abroad, has no domestic box office. The others were worse.

As for the “Pirates” movies, they declined in box office successively over the years. The last one, in 2017, was a big hit internationally but made $172 million here. The foreign crowd is nothing to sneeze at. Depp is a name in the worldwide market in the right project. But here, at least five or more years ago, his star was on the wane.

So let’s not heap all the blame on Amber Heard. Johnny Depp was the architect of his own self-destruction. Even another “Pirates” movie might not resurrect him.

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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