Fifth Estate Director Bill Condon on Why the Movie Bombed

We at TGD was genuinely surprised that the Wikileaks movie, The Fifth Estate, bombed at the box office. Sure Julian Assange didn’t like it, and he made his feelings known to anyone who’d listen, but his complaining could have been great publicity for the movie.

Maybe the whole Wikileaks thing is yesterday’s news to everyone by now, but again, we were genuinely shocked that The Fifth Estate didn’t open at the box office. Director Bill Condon is a terrific filmmaker (Gods and Monsters, Kinsey, Dreamgirls), and Benedict Cumberbatch was also a great choice to play Assange, so we were looking forward to this one, but in addition to Assange’s complaints, the film didn’t get good reviews from the critics either. 

And indeed, as Condon told Entertainment Weekly, perhaps Assange and the whole Wikileaks thing has indeed “wor[n] out its welcome. I do think there’s something about [Assange] that does not suggest an evening’s entertainment.”

As we reported here on TGD, Assange went on a public tirade against the film, and he clearly can’t take the heat he dishes out. And again, the reviews weren’t kind to Estate, so clearly the execution of the film wasn’t good enough to overcome the critics, or Assange himself.