Johnny Depp’s ‘Mortdecai’ is box office poison, bombs badly

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In the wake of this weekend’s box office results, Johnny Depp undoubtedly must be thinking about his movie choices recently. His “Mortdecai” not only bombed badly with an estimated $4.5 million opening weekend for ninth place in the Top 10, but it marked the third recent huge professional disappointment for the talented actor — following the duds “Transcendence” and “The Lone Ranger.” The “Mortdecai” disaster is Depp’s lowest nationwide opening as a lead actor since “The Astronaut’s Wife” opened with $4 million in 1999. (Depp does have a small role in the popular and Oscar-nominated “Into the Woods.”)

There is a Chicago connection to “Mortdecai” as it was co-produced by Our Town’s Gigi Pritzker’s Odd Lot Entertainment. The David Koepp-directed movie certainly has plenty of star power attached to it. Along with Depp, the cast included Gwyneth Paltrow, Ewan McGregor, Olivia Munn, Paul Bettany and Jeff Goldblum.

In happier news, Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper,” starring Bradley Cooper, continued its blockbuster roll into cinema history. It not only won the weekend, it zoomed past the $200 million mark, breaking records for both a January opening and for a R-rated film. The movie’s stellar box office performance further boosts its Oscar chances on Feb. 22.

Number 2 at the box office went to the critically-dissed “The Boy Next Door,” starring Jennifer Lopez and Ryan Guzman. It is expected to earn $ 16.5 million, once all the weekend receipts are tabulated.

Third place went to the family-oriented “Paddington,” starring “Downton Abbey” mainstay Hugh Bonneville and former Oscar nominee Sally Hawkins in the charming tale, based on the books about the talking bear who arrives at London’s Paddington Station from “Darkest Peru” in search of a good home. “Paddington” was expected to make $12 million — pushing it’s overall U.S. haul to nearly $40 million in its two weeks of distribution on this side of the pond.

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