"The Tourist" faces box office struggle

Thu Dec 9, 2010 12:34am EST
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By Carl DiOrio

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - What's wrong with this picture?

Even with two of the world's biggest movie stars in Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp aboard, "The Tourist" might struggle to earn $20 million at the North American box office this weekend.

Prerelease tracking surveys indicate soft must-see interest in the costly Sony release. Some industry pundits -- as usual -- blamed the marketing materials, while others said the A-list casting can't mask a tired concept.

Directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck ("The Lives of Others), "The Tourist" has Depp's character traveling to Venice to get over a recent breakup and getting involved with Jolie's sultry Interpol agent.

"But the problem may be that he doesn't have green eyes and a cap on his head or scissors for hands," an industryite offered. "If you think about it, Depp's most successful roles have always had him playing oddballs."

In a caustic review, The Hollywood Reporter film critic Todd McCarthy opined: "Depp never has registered less effectively in his entire film career."

As for Jolie, her most recent outing came in July with the action thriller Salt, a $118 million domestic grosser.

Despite the proximity to that middling performance, "The Tourist" has received wide media coverage, helped by Jolie's pairing with Depp. Sony secured cover stories in USA Weekend, Entertainment Weekly, Vogue and Vanity Fair, helping to spread awareness of the film among prospective patrons.   Continued...