With a marketing campaign that proved to be audience repellant, Mordecai arrives on VOD May 5th, in an edited PG-13 cut. With ads that looked designed as slapstick for children, the film was actually R rated and geared toward adults, which made the limited appeal completely toxic. With most films of similar ilk being released to the home market in Unrated cuts or bumped from PG-13 to R, the reduction in the rating is a bit of a head scratcher. Viewing a R rated film is far less prohibited on VOD than it is for a minor buying tickets at a cinema and besides being a truncated VOD release, Mortdecai is still Mortdecai, a critically maligned film with the dimming star wattage of the over exposed Depp. It’s doubtful a more family friendly rating will broaden the appeal or shed the film’s reputation, which is practically diseased.
Envisioned as a potential new franchise, Lionsgate and Oddlot Entertainment co-financed this $60m Johnny Depp vehicle which saw some of the worst numbers of the star’s career. Lionsgate reduced their exposure to the budget to around $13m after foreign pre-sales, but a strong ad spend just added to the red. Mortdecai opened in the US to a terrible $4,200,586 and audiences gave the film a poor C+ cinemascore and the film saw a steep 65.7% second weekend drop to $1,439,268. It was yanked from all but 253 screens in its third frame and dropped 90.4% to $138,508 and closed out its run with $7,696,134. The international star saw his film post horrible numbers in every territory, accumulating $23m across numerous distributors. Lionsgate released the film in the UK and put Mortdecai out wide in 350 theaters where it placed #7 for the weekend with a poor $727,292.