The above title isn’t an attempt at a mere pun for fun’s sake. For anyone watching the web over this past week, it’s been article after article about how fantastically terrible this movie is doing. It’s critical response is atrocious, it’s box office takings are pathetic, and audiences are hating it. Let’s break it down some.
Earlier last week, a handful of sights and reviewers broke embargo to post their reviews for the Josh Trank directed superhero reboot of Marvel’s beloved ‘first family,’ early. Since then, the critical concensus has dipped to an impressively low 8% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. That makes it the worst rated big budget superhero movie of all time. Even Catwoman (9%) and Elektra (10%) were rated higher.
The director has also publicly disowned the film on Twitter, stating “A year ago I had a fantastic version of this. And it would’ve received great reviews. You’ll probably never see it. That’s reality though.” Right. The tweet was almost immediately taken down. The director, who’s only other film to date was Chronicle, a low budget superhero origin movie, apparently could not handle the pressure put on him from the higher ups, and according to his comment above, the studio interfered plenty.
So what exactly does that mean for the film? Word of mouth in the geek community was strong. Box office analysts are claiming that Trank’s tweet cost the film $10M on its opening weekend, so says The Wrap.
The opening weekend box office numbers were also something so fantastically bad it has to be noted. Initial early estimates placed the film at grossing over $50M. But when it came down to it, Fantastic Four couldn’t even take the number one spot away from Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (which opened at number one last weekend), making a humiliating $26.2M. The only other major studio superhero adaption to get an even lower opening weekend debut was the Ghost Rider sequel, Spirit of Vengeance, which earned $22.1M back in 2011. For a film that cost Fox an estimated $120M to make and tens of millions to advertise, this is a horrible loss.
Overseas wasn’t much better. Some 43 markets only grossed $34.1M internationally, making the global opening weekend haul a horrendous $60.3M.
It can’t really get much worse, can it? Well it’s one thing for critics to hate it. It’s another thing for the general moviegoing audience to agree with them. CinemaScore, which aggregates audience reception, gave the film a C-, the lowest grade for a major Hollywood studio superhero title ever. Catwoman and Elektra received B’s, to give you some semblance of comparison.
This is undoubtedly a total failure for Fox to reboot their franchise. I think, and I’m sure many fans will agree, it’s high time they gave the keys back to Marvel. There’s no way a sequel can be greenlit amongst such terrible press and numbers. It’s doubtful these characters will ever cross over into the X-Men or Deadpool films either. But alas, time will tell. I don’t think I’ll be seeing this flick. How about you? Have you seen it? Give me all the dirty deets in the comments below!
[UPDATE] After 17 days in theaters, it’s totaled only $49M domestically. This is less than both previous Fantastic Four films made on their respective opening weekends.