People love Angelina Jolie. Johnny Depp has a huge fan base. Put 'em both in one movie — for the very first time — and you'd think it would be box office gold! Instead, The Tourist tanked.
The film, which had a budget of about $100 million, made a measly $17 million this weekend. It came in second, after the new Narnia movie and before Tangled, which has been out for three weeks and already grossed $115,623,000.
What went wrong? I'd like to blame the crappy marketing, including the weird, humorless, cliché-filled trailer. The movie didn't seem funny enough to be a comedy, or high-stakes enough to be a thrilling action film. Angelina was dressed like Grace Kelly instead of the blood vial-toting vixen we fell for, and Johnny Depp, well, his face seemed uncharacteristically puffy, and he clearly wasn't having any fun. The Jack Sparrow sparkle was missing.
Even though they are both Geminis who live in France, Angie and Johnny had zero chemistry, according to critics. Roger Ebert wrote, "In theory, these two should engage in witty flirtation and droll understatement. In practice, no one seems to have alerted Depp that the movie is a farce."
But the real problem? Celebrities may sell tabloids, but they don't sell movies. Especially when the flick appears to be lacking in originality. Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz had a similar problem with Knight & Day; Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl with The Killers. As Box Offie Mojo president Brandon Gray tells The Wall Street Journal's Anthony Kaufman:
‘The Tourist' proves yet again that one cannot rest on just star power to sell a movie and that two hot stars can have a chilling effect with their overwhelming presence… Aside from Depp and Jolie, ‘Tourist' came off as a low-key, generic affair and was the latest in a string of innocents-caught-in-intrigue movies this year."
Ah, well. Surely Angie and Johnny will recover from this just fine.