Captain America: Winter Soldier has soared past Transcendence in ticket sales for the third week in a row, earning another $26 million according to a studio estimate. Cyber-thriller Transcendence opened in fourth place, making only $11.1 million, despite the presence of both Johnny Depp and a star-studded cast including Rebecca Hall and Morgan Freeman. The Wire described the Depp film as a script that attempts to grapple with weighty issues of man’s relationship to technology, and wants to be a thriller, but by the end is trying to convince the audience that its plot is a love story between Depp and his co-star. Despite high-expectations of Depp’s cyber-thriller, critics found Depp’s movie to be too slow, and too bogged down by too many themes. As a result, Transcendence fell by the wayside in box-office sales over the weekend. Fans of Depp were rooting for the actor after his recent box-office dud The Lone Ranger, which famously tanked in 2013. The Lone Ranger garnered terrible reviews despite praise of Depp’s performance.
Fans may have been hoping for a comeback for infamously underground star, but similarly to critical reception of The Lone Ranger, Transcendence suffered tepid reviews from critics over the weekend. US Weekly called it a “disposable sci-fi dud” saying Depp spent the movie “mumbling in monotone.” Despite box office failure, reviews for Transcendence were not completely negative, Bloomberg called Depp’s latest film as a “pastiche of age-old worries … [and] genre thrills.” Depp’s latest box-office bomb is the latest in a series of disappointing movie releases, which precedes release of The Lone Ranger and extends to the 2012 horror-comedy Dark Shadows which was directed by Tim Burton.
Transcendence marks the fourth time in 10 years that Depp has played a character sans elaborate costume. Producers of the film were hoping to draw in Depp fans, while Captain America producers generated audience interest by affiliating Winter Soldier with popular TV show Agents of Shield. The blockbuster action film was set against the same universe as Agents of Shield in hopes of piquing the interests of fans, and the target fan base may well have resulted in higher ticket sales over the weekend. Captain America enjoyed A ratings this weekend, with critics calling it the best action movie to come out of the Marvel movie universe so far. Washington-based analyst Phil Contrino called the Marvel-Disney brand “historic,” saying that Winter Soldier’s re-enforces the Disney-Marvel brand by adding to the success of the Avengers movie. Critics and business analysts commented that weekend ticket sales of Capital America: Winter Soldier proved the sustainability of Disney-Marvel superheroes, and revealed the genius of Disney’s foresight to open the film before the summer rush of opening films. Releasing the films to theaters the film over Easter weekend also generated an extra day of ticket sales for Captain America, as the film was able to tack on an extra day to its ticket-sales. Cortrino also commented on the disappointing results of Depp’s movie, saying that people “just weren’t excited to see Transcendence.” Despite the anticipation of Johnny Depp’s return to the big screen, Captain America soared past Transcendence this weekend, topping box-office sales at number one.
Commentary by Sandra