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'Fantastic Four' 2015 Box Office: Costly Flop?

Fantastic Four 2015 expensive box office dud'Fantastic Four' 2015: Expensive box office dud stars Miles Teller, Kate Mara, The Thing (Jamie Bell) and Michael B. Jordan.

'Fantastic Four' 2015 box office: A costly domestic flop in the making?

Fantastic Four 2015, a 20th Century Fox release “in association with Marvel Entertainment,” is about to become the biggest big-budget superhero(es) dud at the domestic office since at least The Green Hornet (not to be confused with the equally underwhelming Green Lantern) four years ago. (See follow-up post: “'Fantastic Four' Box Office: Worst Opening Among Big-Budget Superhero Movies This Century?”)

Directed by Josh Trank, who dissed the film's final edit on Twitter (see more details below), Fantastic Four stars Kate Mara (Sue Storm / The Invisible Woman), Miles Teller (Reed Richards / Mr. Fantastic), Michael B. Jordan (Johnny Storm / The Human Torch), and Jamie Bell (Ben Grimm / The Thing).

A while back, Fantastic Four became the subject of ardent arguments because of Michael B. Jordan's ethnicity: unlike the Fruitvale Station actor, the comic books' Johnny Storm is white. You'd have expected this sort of controversy to have increased interest in the film, but that hasn't been the case here. (Much like it wasn't the case with Andrea Arnold's 2011 film version of Wuthering Heights, which generated – much milder – ethnicity-related disagreements following the casting of black actor James Howson as Heathcliff.)

'Fantastic Four' 2015 fizzles

Anyhow, Fox's Fantastic Four 2015 opened with a mundane $2.7 million from 2,900 North American locations on Thursday evening. According to Deadline.com, early Friday box office indicates the $120 million-budget Marvel superhero flick will collect $10-$12 million today. And that should translate into around $28-30 million at 3,995 U.S. and Canada theaters this weekend (Aug. 7-9, '15).

Sat., Aug. 8 update: Fantastic Four 2015 opened with an estimated $11.3 million, including Thursday evening showings.

Box office prognosticators were expecting a domestic opening in the $40-50 million range. And bear in mind that marketing and distribution expenses may place the total Fantastic Four budget at $180 million or whereabouts. As a rule of thumb, studios collect around 50-55 percent of domestic grosses and 40 percent of international grosses.

Summing up, just don't be too surprised if the extremely well-received Christopher McQuarrie-Tom Cruise actioner Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation ends up once again taking the crown at the North American weekend box office.

Box office comparisons

How does the $30 million or so opening of Fantastic Four 2015 compare to those of its two predecessors?

  • Starring Jessica Alba, Ioan Gruffudd, Michael Chiklis, and current Captain America Chris Evans (as The Human Torch), the Tim Story-directed Fantastic Four opened in July 2005, collecting $56.06 million (approx. $71 million in 2015) at 3,602 locations. The film went on to gross $154.69 million (approx. $196 million today) in North America, plus $175.88 million internationally.
  • The 2007 sequel, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, collected $58.05 million (approx. $68.5 million in 2015) on its June opening weekend, eventually scoring $131.92 million (approx. $156 million today) at the domestic box office. The overseas gross was $157.12 million.

Here are a couple of other comparisons:

  • Starring Seth Rogen, Jay Chou, Cameron Diaz, Tom Wilkinson, and Christoph Waltz, Michel Gondry's $120 million-budget The Green Hornet debuted with $33.52 million (approx. $34.6 million in 2015) at 3,584 sites in January 2011. North American cume: $98.78 million (approx. $100 million adjusted), plus $129.03 million overseas.
  • The more modestly budgeted ($57 million) Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, debuted with $22.11 million in Feb. 2012. Nicolas Cage starred. Domestic cume: $51.77 million, plus $80.78 million elsewhere.
Fantastic Four 2015 Kate Mara'Fantastic Four' 2015: Kate Mara.

Director Josh Trank disses 'Fantastic Four' 2015

Director-coscreenwriter Josh Trank has himself dissed the final product. “A year ago, I had a fantastic version of this,” he tweeted on Aug. 6. “And it would've recieved [sic] great reviews. You'll probably never see it. That's reality though.”

Hell, who knows … whether or not it was actually any good and/or whether or not Trank's Fantastic Four cut will ever see the light of day.

Hasn't there been director's cuts of films as varied as Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in America, Ridley Scott's Blade Runner, Kevin Costner's Dances with Wolves, and Oliver Stone's JFK?

Either way, Trank's tweet was swiftly deleted.

The filmmaker's sole previous feature film effort, the fantasy / sci-fi adventure Chronicle, toplining Dane DeHaan, Alex Russell, and Michael B. Jordan, earned a surprising $126.63 million worldwide in 2012.

Earlier this year, Trank made entertainment headlines after abandoning – or, according to some, getting kicked out of – one of the Star Wars spin-offs. That has fed stories about serious problems on the Fantastic Four set.

Fantastic Four, which was partly reshot earlier this year, currently enjoys – or rather, suffers from – a dismal 6 percent approval rating and 3.4/10 average among Rotten Tomatoes' top critics.

International figures haven't been made available as yet, but prospects for the already announced 2017 Fantastic Four sequel look iffy at best.

'Fantastic Four' 2015 cast

Besides the aforementioned Kate Mara, Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, and Jamie Bell, the 2015 Fantastic Four cast includes Toby Kebbell, Reg E. Cathey, Tim Blake Nelson, Joshua Montes, Dan Castellaneta, Owen Judge, Kylen Davis, and Evan Hannemann.

The screenplay is credited to Josh Trank, Jeremy Slater (The Lazarus Effect), and Simon Kinberg (X-Men: The Last Stand, Sherlock Holmes), who also happens to be one of the film's producers. (Kick-Ass director Matthew Vaughn is another one.) The characters are based on Stan Lee and Jack Kirby creations.

 

Box office information about Fantastic Four 2005, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, The Green Hornet, and other movies: Box Office Mojo. Some international figures may be incomplete.

Miles Teller, The Thing (Jamie Bell), Michael B. Jordan, and Kate Mara Fantastic Four 2015 images: 20th Century Fox / Marvel.


         
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