Weak Start for Angelina's 'Tourist' ... Blame Chelsea?
By Rob Shuter Posted Dec 13th 2010 09:30AM
Movie executives were dealing with flared ulcers and pulsating migraines Monday after the Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp vehicle 'The Tourist' bombed at the box office, getting beaten by an animated lion (the newest 'Chronicles of Narnia') despite starring two of the most bankable stars in all of moviedom. This leads many to wonder, did Chelsea Handler's blunt jokes about Angie play a role in turning moviegoers against her?
"It's not that Chelsea is the most powerful movie critic the world has ever known, it's that she reminded all of America what Angelina had done all over again. Chelsea picked an ugly scab off a wound that Angelina had worked so hard to heal with her humanitarian work," an industry executive tells me. "What woman in America is going to pay money to see Angelina ruin one man's life on-screen when we all saw her [ruin Jen's marriage] for free in real life?"
'The Tourist' took in just $17 million domestically on its first weekend, an anemic start to a film with a projected budget of about $100 million, according to Box Office Mojo. It was Angie's worst opening since 2007's 'A Mighty Heart,' a much smaller film that opened with about $4 million. It was also Depp's weakest opening since the musical 'Sweeney Todd' brought in just $9 million in 2007. (Note: 'Sweeney' opened in about 1,000 fewer theaters than 'Tourist.' 'A Might Heart' started with about 1,300 fewer screens.)
Despite a marketing campaign deliberately aimed at women, including advertising spots during the Macy's Thanksgiving parade and the much-hyped/tears-filled Barbara Walters interview special with Oprah Winfrey, the film world's hottest pairing still failed to connect.
"Chelsea's comments couldn't have come at a worse moment," one insider tells me of the controversy surrounding the comic's jabs at Angie. "No amount of money spent on advertising or marketing could compete with the amount of press and attention Chelsea's rant got."
During a recent stand-up concert in her native New Jersey, Chelsea called Angie a homewrecker and a "f***ing c**t." She, of course, has been making fun of Angelina for years and has even used the "homewrecker" line before, but because she is now a confirmed member of Jen's inner circle (they spent Thanksgiving together) the renewed comments (and video documenting it) have received more attention.
My source believes that the image of Jen being personally wronged by Angie "made it impossible for any woman to go out over the weekend and support her."
What do you think? Did Chelsea time her jokes to help sabotage Angelina's big opening?
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