A WikiLeaks documentary called "Mediastan" is available for free download as Disney-DreamWorks' dramatic depiction of the whistleblower website flopped in North America. While whether "Mediastan" contributes to the dismal result of "The Fifth Estate" remains to be determined, it's clear that the documentary was released to sabotage the feature film.
The rival movie was produced by Assange, who started its anti-"Fifth Estate" campaign a few weeks ago by leaking its script and then publishing his private email to Benedict Cumberbatch. "This weekend," he said in a statement, "instead of wasting your time and money on Hollywood propaganda, why not get all your friends around and spend your time watching Mediastan instead?"
The Bill Condon-directed drama collected an underwhelming $1.7 million from the ticket sales in 1,769 theaters. Bowing at No. 8 on the box office, it becomes the worst debut of the year for a movie released in more than 1,500 theaters. "We're certainly disappointed by the results," Disney distribution head Dave Hollis said, "and we're still trying to figure out the 'whys'."
Meanwhile, "Mediastan" was reported to have been downloaded by around 500,000 people (equal to $4.2 million in U.S. box office receipts) when it came out last Saturday night, October 19 to coincide with "The Fifth Estate" release this past weekend. But there's no word on how many times the documentary was downloaded Stateside.