Box office: 'Fantastic Four' 2015 bombs, 'Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation' to pass $100 million mark
Derided by critics and fans alike, 20th Century Fox's Fantastic Four is about to become one of 2015's domestic box office bombs. After earning a paltry $11.3 million on Friday – including Thursday evening shows – the Josh Trank-directed, Fox-meddled (and -muddled?) Marvel superhero flick will likely gross less than even the most modest, downgraded expectations. In fact, don't be too surprised if the Christopher McQuarrie-Tom Cruise actioner Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation tops the North American box office chart this weekend (Aug. 7-9, '15).
Fox's only hope is that Fantastic Four lives up to its name at the international box office – despite the fact that this latest superhero entry is in old-fashioned 2D, whereas audiences in several key overseas markets prefer their CGI and explosions to be presented in (what passes for) three dimensions.
Not even $30 million?
Fantastic Four 2015 is expected to collect around $26-$28 million by Sunday evening. Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation could end up earning about as much after grossing $8.2 million on Friday (without the newcomer's Thursday evening box office boost). With an estimated domestic cume of $87.45 million, MI5 will pass the $100 million mark sometime on Sunday.
Sun., Aug. 9, update: Fantastic Four 2015 raked in $26.2 million according to official studio estimates, thus trailing Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, which brought in an estimated $29.4 million.
Now, back to Fantastic Four. For comparison's sake:
Barring a miraculous surge on the weekend proper, Fantastic Four will trail the U.S. and Canada opening of every major, big-budget superhero movie released so far this century, including, of course, the two previous Fantastic Four movies. Even Michel Gondry's The Green Hornet, toplining Seth Rogen, Jay Chou, and Cameron Diaz, opened with more than $30 million back in January 2011 – $33.52 million to be (almost) exact. (More detailed box office comparisons here.)
I should add that another green superhero, Green Lantern, also turned out to be a major disappointment in relation to its exorbitant $200 million budget. Directed by Martin Campbell, and starring Ryan Reynolds in the title role, Green Lantern took in a total of $116. 6 million in North America after debuting with $53.17 million in June 2011.
True, Fantastic Four will remain ahead of Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, but that Nicolas Cage domestic bomb cost a reported $57 million vs. the Fantastic Four price tag of $122 million, not including marketing and distribution expenses that likely pushed the film's total cost to (at least) around $180 million.
Josh Trank's film will also remain ahead of the costly Catwoman, although the title character played by Halle Berry was never a major superhero (or even a traditional superhero, period). Reportedly budgeted at $100 million, the Pitof-directed Catwoman debuted with $16.72 million (approx. $22 million in 2015) in July 2004. Also in the cast: Sharon Stone and Benjamin Bratt.
2015 box office bombs
2015 has had its share of major domestic box office bombs. Fantastic Four is joining an eclectic group that includes the following:
- The George Clooney star vehicle Tomorrowland, directed by Brad Bird.
- Andy and Lana Wachowski's Jupiter Ascending, starring Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis.
- The Sergey Bodrov-directed fantasy Seventh Son, featuring Oscar winners Julianne Moore (Still Alice) and Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart).
- Johnny Depp-Gwyneth Paltrow's Mordecai, directed by David Koepp.
- Cameron Crowe's Aloha, starring Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams, and Bill Murray.
- Michael Mann's thriller Blackhat, with Chris Hemsworth and Viola Davis.
Some – but not all – of these were greatly assisted by the international market. We'll see if Fantastic Four will be as lucky.
'Fantastic Four' 2015 cast and screenwriters
Fantastic Four 2015 stars Kate Mara (Heath Ledger's daughter in Brokeback Mountain), Miles Teller (Whiplash), Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station), and Jamie Bell (Billy Elliot). Some (many?) fans have complained that the leads don't look like the characters found in Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's comic books; Jordan, in particular, was the subject of controversy because of his ethnicity.
Other cast members include: Toby Kebbell, Tim Blake Nelson, Joshua Montes, Reg E. Cathey, Dan Castellaneta, Kylen Davis, Owen Judge, and Evan Hannemann.
The Fantastic Four screenplay is credited to Josh Trank (who recently dismissed the film on Twitter), Jeremy Slater (The Lazarus Effect), and Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Apocalypse, X-Men: Days of Future Past). Kinberg is also one of the Fantastic Four producers, along with, among others, Kick-Ass director Matthew Vaughn and former 20th Century Fox production chief Hutch Parker.
Fantastic Four 2015 cast info via the IMDb.
Miles Teller Fantastic Four 2015 image: 20th Century Fox / Marvel.