‘Fantastic Four’ bombs with US$26.2 mil.
Hollywood’s summer has had runaway sensations (“Jurassic World”) and heartwarming hits (“Inside Out”). It now has its fiasco.
“Fantastic Four,” 20th Century Fox’s attempt to reboot the superhero team-up franchise, debuted with just US$26.2 million at North American theaters over the weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday. The result was bad enough that last week’s leader, Tom Cruise’s “Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation,” held the top spot with US$29.4 million in its second week.
The overwhelming flop for “Fantastic Four” is a rare humbling for a Marvel superhero film, which often gross more than US$20 million in just one night. The film has been savaged by critics and was dogged by reports of creative difficulties. Director Josh Trank even distanced himself from it Thursday in a tweet he soonafter deleted in which he alluded to studio interference: “A year ago I had a fantastic version of this,” he wrote.
“Fantastic Four” was Fox’s attempt to revive a franchise just 10 years after its launch. But those earlier films — neither of which critics or fans much liked — opened twice as well. The 2005 original debuted with US$56.1 million and the 2007 sequel, “Fantastic Four: The Silver Surfer,” opened with US$58.1 million.
The reboot, made for US$120 million and with a massive marketing budget, was designed with a youthful bent, enlisting Trank (who had only 2012’s “Chronicle” under his belt) and a cast of Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara and Jamie Bell. A sequel, already scheduled for 2017, now seems very unlikely.
disappoint- ed,” said Chris Aronson, head of distribution for Fox. “We’ll do a post-mortem. As we do with everything that doesn’t work out, we’ll try to figure out why and move forward.”
As late as Tuesday, Fox had tracking data that suggested the opening the industry was widely expecting: about US$40 million to US$50 million. But the fortunes for the film seemed to turn with the unusually bad critical reaction. “The combination of less-thandesirable reviews and the power of social media conspired to suppress the opening,” Aronson said.
Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for box-office tracker Rentrak, also pointed to social media’s blazingly fast spread of bad buzz. The film didn’t fare much better abroad, where it earned US$34.1 million.
This photo provided by Twentieth Century Fox shows, The Thing, from left, Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm, Miles Teller as Dr. Reed Richards, and Kate Mara as Sue Storm, in a scene from the film, “Fantastic Four.”