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Assange flick The Fifth Estate branded 'WORST FILM OF THE YEAR'

Even Benedict Cumberbatch can't drown out Swedish sex crime allegations

Benedict Cumberbatch as Julian Assange in The Fifth Estate

Julian Assange hero flick The Fifth Estate has proved the year’s biggest film loser.

The Benedict Cumberbatch helmed vehicle black listed by the film’s real-life muse made just $6m worldwide on a budged of $28m. That means the film recovered just 21 per cent of the cash spent by studio DreamWorks and its owner Disney.

The money excludes cash spent promoting the Wiki dud.

The stats leave The Estate walking the red-carpet of shame with John Carter, Gigli and Cutthroat Island as multi-million dollar flicks that failed to make a return on investment by a wide margin.

Forbes, which compiled the numbers based on data from Box Office Mojo, estimates the film might only have made $3m based on the fact studios take half of what’s made at the box office. The magazine declared the Wiki flick the worst performing of the year.

The Estate just beat Sly Stallone vehicle Bullet to the Head, which came second, making just $9m world wide on a budget of $25m.

Omens for the Assange film were poor from the start.

The white haired Ecuadorian sofa surfer had refused to take a meeting with Cumberbatch for the film and asked the actor to reconsider his involvement.

Assange was concerned the film “vilifies and marginalises a living political refugee to the benefit of an entrenched, corrupt and dangerous state".

He reckoned the film was based on a pair of the most discredited books on the market.

Without their leader's endorsement, the legions of Wiki faithful were unlikely to beat down the box-office doors. Neither was anybody else. But then, films about people sitting at computers have always been a hard sell.

Even film’s lead actor had expressed doubts over the DreamWorks flick, too. He told the Wikileaks friendly Guardian that upon first reading the script he was worked it cast the 11-fingered Sweden dodger “as some kind of cartoon baddie.”

However: “That evolved into a more nuanced portrayal,” the Sherlock man said.

Not enough, apparently. ®

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