Jeanne du Barry starring Johnny Depp celebrated the best Cannes box office opening since 2013's The Great Gatsby.
Call him Edward Comeback Hands! Johnny Depp has proven that he still has what it takes to get people into a theater, er, in France at least. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Depp’s new French-language film Jeanne du Barry has sold 401,481 tickets since it opened the Cannes Film Festival over a week ago, the most tickets for an opening-night film since 2013’s The Great Gatsby. An especially impressive feat considering The Great Gatsby was a major Hollywood film and Jeanne du Barry is not.
Thierry Fremaux, chief of Cannes, has a habit of selecting an independent film to open the legendary festival, usually a French-language film. Johnny Depp’s new movie checks both boxes. It’s also tradition for the film that opens Cannes to open in French cinemas the same night, another mark that Jeanne du Barry hit with great success.
The movie acts as a reintroduction of sorts to Johnny Depp, the actor, following the world’s brief obsession with Johnny Depp, the courtroom star. Depp spent the last few years publically feuding with ex-wife Amber Heard in a war of he-said/she-said accusations that included claims of alleged defamation and domestic abuse. The affair culminated in a public trial last year in which both actors took the stand and made highly memeable statements.
Despite Johnny Depp’s triumphant return to form, Jeanne du Barry currently has no deal with any American distributors meaning it may be some time before Depp’s native land gets a chance to witness his cinematic recovery. The reason behind Hollywood’s reluctance to accept Depp back into its fold is debatable.
On one hand, it’s not a stretch to say that Hollywood is still reeling from all of the crimes exposed by the #MeToo movement. In that context, it’s understandable that Tinsel Town might have cold feet about getting back into bed—so to speak— with an alleged abuser. To make things worse, Maiwenn, the director and one of the stars of the film, is an outspoken critic of #MeToo and went so far as to allegedly spit on a journalist publishing a sex abuse expose on her ex-husband Luc Besson.
On the other hand, Hollywood has been known to abandon its convictions when enough profit is at stake, meaning that it might just be a case of no studio believing that Barry‘s French success will translate to the same enthusiasm stateside. Especially in light of the film’s mixed critical reception. Of course, if marketed correctly as a comeback vehicle for a post-trial Johnny Depp, the French-language film could rake in a modest box office just based on fan’s curiosity alone.
That’s if Johnny Depp is even interested in getting back together with Hollywood. The actor recently stated that he has “no further need for Hollywood” while premiering Jeanne du Barry at Cannes. The European success of Jeanne du Barry may very well lead to Depp making further films abroad rather than returning to the US studio system.
If that happens, fans waiting to see the actor decked out in full Jack Sparrow attire once again might be waiting for quite a long time.