Dismal start for Depp film

Amber Heard (above) with what appears to be bruising on her right cheek in an undated handout photograph included in a court filing. Johnny Deep (left) performing in Portugal last Friday.
Johnny Deep (above) performing in Portugal last Friday. PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

NEW YORK • It has been a rough week for Johnny Depp.

The A-lister's latest movie opened to a dismal start last Friday, the day his wife, actress Amber Heard, was granted a restraining order against him, alleging that he had assaulted her.

Disney's family movie Alice Through The Looking Glass, based on Lewis Carroll's work, trailed Bryan Singer's X-Men: Apocalypse, taking in just US$9.7 million (S$13.4 million) in ticket receipts from 3,763 locations in North America.

Twentieth Century Fox's latest X-Men movie debuted with US$26.4 million from 4,150 theatres to become Friday's champion, said The Hollywood Reporter.

It is projected to score a US$80- million domestic debut over the four-day Memorial Day weekend. By comparison, Depp's movie, directed by James Bobin (The Muppets, 2011) and made for US$170 million, is expected to take in US$40 million over the long weekend.


Amber Heard (above) with what appears to be bruising on her right cheek in an undated handout photograph included in a court filing. PHOTO: REUTERS

Both Depp, as the Mad Hatter, and Mia Wasikowska, as Alice, return in the sequel to Tim Burton's Alice In Wonderland, which had a US$116 million opening in 2010.

Critics had panned the new movie, with The Hollywood Reporter saying: "Alice Through The Looking Glass is a movie for anyone who skimmed a passage of Lewis Carroll and thought, 'This is great, but it could use a bit more Terminator'."

Another critic wrote that the movie "is all frosting and no cake".

It opened a day after news emerged that Heard, 30, had on May 23 filed for divorce from Depp in Los Angeles, to end 15 months of marriage.

Last Friday, she appeared in a Los Angeles court with a black eye, saying she is the victim of repeated attacks by Depp. She submitted pictures to the court showing a bruise on her face and saying "Johnny has been verbally and physically abusive to me". She described one of two incidents of alleged abuse, in which Depp hurled his iPhone at her face on May 21, the day after his mother died.

Depp, 52, was temporarily banned from coming within 90m of her by a judge last Friday.

That night, he was thousands of miles away, performing at the Rock In Rio Lisboa music festival in Portugal with the Hollywood Vampires, alongside bandmates Alice Cooper and Joe Perry.

In a counter argument filed last Friday, Depp's lawyer argued that Heard "is attempting to secure a premature financial resolution by alleging abuse".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 30, 2016, with the headline 'Dismal start for Depp film'. Print Edition | Subscribe