With three films already released this year — including two this weekend — Benedict Cumberbatch is being called by some in the press the “actor-of-the-moment,” though he suffered his first box office roadblock this weekend as a leading man, with Disney-DreamWorks’ “The Fifth Estate” grossing a dismal $1.7 million, the worst debut for a wide release this year.
That said, Cumberbatch also scored a stellar showing this weekend with New Regency’s “12 Years a Slave,” in which he stars alongside a powerhouse ensemble including Chiwetel Ejiofor, Lupita Nyong’o, Paul Giamatti, Brad Pitt and Alfre Woodard. “12 Years a Slave,” which Fox Searchlight is marketing and distributing, averaged more than $50,000 per screen from 19 locations.
What do the weekend’s mixed B.O. results mean for Cumberbatch, who starred earlier this year as the villain in “Star Trek Into Darkness” and has “August: Osage County” and “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” waiting in the wings?
Ultimately, the busy actor’s rising profile in better-received ensemble films should help his chances as a leading man, “The Fifth Estate” notwithstanding.