Four Letter Nerd

Box Office Buzz, By the Numbers: Fantastic Four

Today at 4LN, we join the long lines of critics and fans who’ve found time to pummel into submission the monstrosity of a motion picture known as the “Fantastic Four” reboot. I have to admit it feels like piling on as I write this analysis of it’s box office performance. But the numbers don’t lie, and in this inaugural installment of “Box Office Buzz,” I will discuss just how bad the numbers were for Twentieth Century Fox’s attempt at kicking off a super hero franchise.

Critical opinion widely panned “Fantastic Four” to the tune of an 8% aggregate rating based on the reviews of 154 critics on rotten tomatoes. Now critics can often be out of touch with what audiences find entertaining. But that was not the case with FF as out of the 124,000 audience members on the same site who offered their opinions, only 24% liked the movie.

The money further tells the tale of “Fantastic Four”, a movie so bad that even it’s own director distanced himself from it before it’s release. Over the weekend, FF made only $26.2 million in the US and $34.1 million internationally for a grand total of $60.3 million (only half of it’s $120 million dollar budget). Now compare that to the 2005 edition of “Fantastic Four” that this movie was supposed to improve on the quality of. After making $56 million it’s first weekend, the original FF finished with a total of $330 million in box office earnings (after spending $100 million to make it).

For all its flaws, the 2005 Fantastic Four still found a way to make money.

Now to be fair, “Fantastic Four” did have one of the worst release dates in the history of super hero movies, coming just a few months after the release of Avengers 2, Ant-Man (which hit $300 million at the box office this weekend), and the widely acclaimed trailers for the upcoming “Deadpool,” “Batman vs Superman” and “Suicide Squad.” Having already spent money on those two movies and with the expectation of more great super hero fare in the future (not to mention a certain space sequel a few people are excited about in December), movie goers (like myself) were already skeptical of spending more money this summer. Add to that the poor buzz FF received before it’s official release and it never had a chance of succeeding financially.

As for the future, FF looks destined to not bring back its budget at the box office. Most movies have their best financials on opening weekend. And the continued berating of critics and fans is unlikely to encourage other to head to the theater to see what has become a super hero movie disaster.

Two of our members saw the film this weekend. Stephen will share his thoughts in an upcoming review. Bill, who has been pretty desperate to see a Marvel inspired movie struggle, said “I don’t know how to sum up what I feel in one sentence” because it was that bad. He did later heavily criticize the appearance of Dr. Doom, saying he looked more like C3PO or the Deadpool from “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” than the actual Dr. Doom.

But as of today, Fox still says they plan on following through with a planned 2017 sequel. We will see how firm those plans remain as time passes.

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Jeff Merrick

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