Clint Eastwood’s ‘Richard Jewell’ Opens to Below-Average Debut

Clint Eastwood’s latest movie “Richard Jewell,” which has stirredcontroversy about its portrayal of a female journalist, landed with a thud at the box office this weekend.

The film, based on the true story of an Atlanta security guard wrongly suspected in a bombing at the 1996 Summer Olympics, opened in fourth place with $5 million in ticket sales in the U.S. and Canada. Analysts had forecast about $11 million, according to data from Box Office Pro.

The sales trail Eastwood’s opening-weekend average of $7.8 million,according to Amazon-owned IMDbPro. Films directed by Eastwood have grossed some $2 billion domestically, according to the site.

While the film won over most critics onRotten Tomatoes, it contains a controversial scene where a reporter fashioned after real-life journalist Kathy Scruggs appears to sleep with an FBI agent to coax out the name of the suspect. The late Scruggs covered the story for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper, which has objected to the portrayal and demanded a disclaimer be added to the movie.

Actress Olivia Wilde said she never intended to portray Scruggs as having “traded sex for tips.”

Warner Bros., the studio behind the movie, said men made up 58% of the opening weekend audience. Two-thirds of the crowd was over 35 years old.

Eastwood, 89, has Oscar wins for his work as a director and producer on Best Picture winners “Million Dollar Baby” and “Unforgiven.” His “American Sniper” was the top-grossing film of 2014 domestically, according toVariety, with more than $500 million worldwide.

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