A funny thing has happened related to Johnny Depp’s new movie Minamata. Over the past couple of days, varying outlets began reporting that Johnny Depp’s new film absolutely bombed at the box office on its opening weekend. The news spread like wildfire despite there being no information to be easily gleaned about the movie’s box office online. In fact, now the studio says the movie didn’t open at all.
Early this week, reports started rolling around that Johnny Depp’s Minamata only made $15,000 dollars at the box office this weekend. It’s a headline people would be interested in, as Depp’s big budget movie career has stalled recently as he was asked to step down from Warner Bros. big Fantastic Beasts 3 production in which he originally played major character Grindelwald. Minamata was one of his only upcoming movie projects, though he is reportedly part of the TV series Puffins doing voice work which was announced back in June.
In this case, most of the initial reports credited Box Office Mojo’s weekly box office rundown, which from what I can see doesn't mention or feature Johnny Depp’s Minamata. (It did mention a few other movies making somewhere around $15K, including Dara of Jasenovac and No Man’s Land.) Yet, the Depp story ran around until even the New York Post caught wind of it and it went wide, prompting the movie’s publicist to release a statement to the outlet that read:
Minamata was not released this past weekend. MGM had postponed the release due to the pandemic and no new date has been set yet.
The studio also confirmed Minamata’s release date is currently unknown, that it certainly was not released into theaters this weekend and that when the movie does nab a release date MGM will announce. So, it could not have bombed at the box office when it hasn’t been released in the U.S. and was previously not expected to release internationally until after the U.S. release.
Still, it’s easy to see why news regarding Minamata’s box office might be running around this week. The movie was anticipated to finally be opening in the U.S. on February 5th after officially premiering at a the Berlin International Film Festival way back in February of 2020, well before Covid times and before all of Johnny Depp’s court cases had gotten heavily underway. According to distributer MGM’s statement however, the movie has been pushed back even further than the expected February of 2021 dates.
Johnny Depp as a box office draw is in untested waters these days. Once commanding large salaries and big budget spectacles, his most recent movies have been smaller fare like City of Lies and Waiting For Barbarians. We’ll have to wait and see what’s next for the actor outside of his impending Virginia court case. However, early reviews for Minamata were generally positive, notably commenting on Depp's performance in the film.