Amber Heard film London Fields flops at US box office
A long-delayed film version of Martin Amis’s novel London Fields, starring Amber Heard and her ex-husband Johnny Depp, has flopped at the US box office.
The dystopian murder mystery made an estimated $160,000 (£125,000) over the weekend after opening in 613 cinemas.
That’s the worst opening for a “wide” release since a little-known 2008 film called Proud American made just $96,000 (£75,000) in its opening weekend.
London Fields has been the subject of protracted litigation since 2015.
The film was to have had its premiere at that year’s Toronto Film Festival but was pulled from the schedule after its director sued its producers.
Director Mathew Cullen claimed Christopher Hanley and Jordan Gertner had added “incendiary imagery” to the film without his approval.
Hanley and Gertner later counter-sued Cullen, accusing him of breaching his contract.
The producers also launched a legal action against Heard, claiming she “participated in a concerted campaign of disinformation” to “damage” the film.
Heard launched her own counter-suit, alleging the producers violated a no-nudity clause in her contract by secretly filming sex scenes with a body double.
The Aquaman actress reached a settlement with the producers last month that allowed London Fields to be released on October 26.
Based on Amis’s 1989 novel, London Fields tells of a clairvoyant named Nicola Six who divines she is to be murdered by one of her two suitors.
Depp, to whom Heard was married at the time of shooting, has a cameo as a gangster in the film, which currently has a 0% rating on reviews aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.
The New York Times described the film as “a trashy, tortured misfire,” while the Los Angeles Times called it “aggressively awful”.
Heard, whose divorce from Depp was finalised last year, was pictured last week next to a London taxi cab at the film’s Los Angeles premiere.
London Fields’ belated release was complicated by the fact that two different versions were released on the same day.
The film’s distributor, GVN Releasing, supplemented the film’s wide release by showing a “director’s cut” in 13 “select cinemas”.
Mathew Cullen praised the company “for thinking outside the box” by facilitating what he said might be “a cinematic first”.
No UK release date has been confirmed for London Fields, which has only been seen outside the US in Russia, Lithuania and Estonia.
Proud American is a biographical drama whose subjects included the founders of Coca-Cola and Wal-Mart, both of whom invested in the film.