Part of this may be due to the fact that the film got horrible reviews, especially from the top critics on Rotten Tomatoes. The consensus:
Heavy on detail and melodrama but missing the spark from its remarkable real-life inspiration, The Fifth Estate mostly serves as a middling showcase for Benedict Cumberbatch’s remarkable talent.
No one is saying that the guy cannot act. It’s more a judgement on the screenplay if anything at all.
This weekend, the film opened to a depressing $1.7 million from 1,769 theaters. Making matters worse, 12 Years a Slave did slightly over half of that from 19 theaters.
Movie 43, Getaway and Paranoia, all with horrible reviews, had better openings at the box office.
It cost DreamWorks $26 million to make and at this point, the studio is going to be very lucky to recoop most of that.
Over at Variety, Andrew Stewart wonders whether it should have an effect on Benedict Cumberbatch as a leading man. In all honesty, I don’t expect that it will. The guy is a solid actor and even though it may not have been the best vehicle to showcase his talent, it should not bring him down.