Marvel’s first family are proving to be far less than fantastic – after a clobbering time from critics (a dismal 8% on Rotten Tomatoes) and faring just as bad with audiences, with a 4/10 average rating on IMDB, surely some good news was around the corner? Sadly not, as Fantastic Four limped into second place at the US box office this weekend with a $29 million take.
Not only is this worse than expected, as box office experts predicted a weekend just below $40 million, it is also worse than the critically reviled Fantastic Four movies from ten years ago; say what you want about Rise of the Silver Surfer (seriously, feel free – it is quite poor), but adjusted for inflation its opening weekend would be $75 million today, showing that audiences still flocked to see it, despite openly disliking its predecessor. The movie was beaten into first place, at both the US and worldwide box office, by Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, enjoying a successful second week atop the charts.
So, what does the box office failure of Fantastic Four mean? Rumours are circulating that the planned sequel has either been swiftly cancelled or indefinitely postponed, with the planned June 9, 2017 release date likely to be handed to a DeadPool sequel. Director Josh Trank is also going to be struggling to find work; after dropping out of directing one of the Star Wars spin-off movies, the film’s poor reception isn’t likely to get him work anytime soon. This is further complicated by him angrily tweeting last week that “A year ago (I) had a fantastic version of this, but you’ll probably never see it“.
Fantastic Four isn’t the weekend’s only box office casualty – the Shaun the Sheep movie only made it to number 11 this weekend, representing a record low for Aardman Studios. However, due to derailing 20th Century Fox’s plans for a revitalized superhero franchise, the failure of Fantastic Four will overshadow every other movie this weekend – the question on everybody’s lips is now when Marvel Studios will gain the rights to their first family. After all, it only took one bad Spiderman film to have him websling his way into their cinematic universe.