The Age of the Leading Man is extinct. Most recently, we've watched Johnny Depp self-immolate thanks to consecutive flops like Mortdecai, Transcendence and The Lone Ranger. Even box office Teflon Don Will Smith has showed chinks in the armor, with Men in Black 3, After Earth and Focus all delivering embarrassingly soft numbers. Vince Vaughn can now be added to that list, with his latest comedy Unfinished Business tracking to be the worst opening of his career.
Unfinished Business is projected to make a mere $5 million this weekend, which means it won't even come close to breaking even after its theatrical run. While Vaughn was never in the same mega-star echelon as Depp and Smith, during the mid-aughts he was an extremely bankable comedic leading man. Wedding Crashers, The Break-Up, Four Christmases and Couples Retreat were all $100-million-plus makers and helped bring on the renaissance of raunchy adult comedies. But lately things have been tough for Vaughn's fratboy tunnel vision shtick, as his last four movies have bricked something serious at the box office. Unfinished Business is the nail in the coffin.
Unfinished Business went up against Sci-Fi dystopian thriller Chappie and the romantic comedy The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel this weekend, both surpassing the Business' financial gains with ease. Chappie will land at the top of the box office with an estimated $15 million in receipts, followed by Hotel with about $10 million.
Vaughn needs to switch up his strategy, perhaps diving back into the more dark, dramatic territory from which he cut his teeth early in his career. True Detective season 2 might be the catalyst. I hope so.