With the worst box office opening in a decade, Amber Heard's crime mystery London Fields had audiences staying home. The film, based on a 1989 novel written by Martin Amis, premiered this past Friday after several delays due to a heated legal dispute within the production team.
Production on London Fields began in London in 2013 after the project had been shuffled between several directors for a decade. With Billy Bob Thornton (Fargo), Amber Heard (Justice League), and Cara Delevingne (Suicide Squad) attached, the project appeared to be finally taking shape. The story focuses on Heard's character, a femme fatale named Nicola Six, who preconceives her own death - a murder at the hands of one of her three lovers.
Unfortunately, London Fields continued its downward trajectory at the box office. THR is reporting that the crime mystery had the second worst opening for a wide release since 1980, following closely behind the 2008 biographical drama, Proud American. According to initial estimates, the film raked in a meager $160K from 613 theaters. Its weekend earnings won't be finalized until Monday; however, with its 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes it's unlikely London Fields will recover.
This post-release disaster is not the first of the film's setbacks, as both a legal battle and a restraining order marred London Fields' journey to the box office. Heard married Johnny Depp - who's featured in a cameo in London Fields - at the start of shooting, but eventually filed a temporary restraining order against him due to abusive behavior in May 2016. That previous September, London Fields was headed for the 2015 Toronto Film Festival until director, Matthew Cullen, and a producer became embroiled in a legal dispute. This was followed by another legal battle when a producer sued Heard and she countersued on behalf of several issues including violations to her nudity agreement.
Every film faces an often long and winding road to the box office; unfortunately, London Fields has faced a few more challenges than the average release and has not escaped unscathed. Perhaps the writing of Martin Amis was not suited for a film adaptation or perhaps those who adapted it failed to grasp the meaning behind the source material's apparent convolution. Either way, this adaptation has made box office history, just not the kind of history one hopes to make. Suffice it to say, though, things should go much, much better for Heard's next film, Aquaman.