The Fifth Estate is getting more free publicity than most films thanks to the notorious nature of its subject, but that hardly helped during its U.K. debut.
The film details the rise of WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange. WikiLeaks has been in the news for some time now, and Assange himself has blasted the film for being an inaccurate version of his work.
Usually those kind of headlines are good for a box office boost, but Estate brought in only $800,000-plus during its opening weekend in England. That put the film in sixth place, far behind the child abduction thriller Prisoners.
Estate, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Assange, even had a local angle that couldn’t spark enough business.
The distributor was likely looking for a figure closer to $1 million — a good threshold for a film of this size in the U.K. — because Assange and his current exile in the Ecuadorian embassy in London continues to grab headlines in the local press.