Weekend Report: “Fantastic Four” Falls Flat

Clobberin’ time indeed.

The first real flop of the year hit theaters this weekend, and it wasn’t pretty. Fantastic Four was the first superhero flop in a very long time, taking in a horrendously bad $26M this weekend. That’s far lower than even the lowest of expectations, which had it in the mid-$30’s range.

So why did it do so bad? Well, it was obvious that the film was only made so 20th Century Fox only made this film to keep the rights, and the films main audience (the comic book nerds) were well aware of this and violently against the decision. I honestly think that if this was a film in the MCU it would’ve done $60M+. The F4 have strong recognition, just not strong enough to open well with so many other problems.

But let’s not ignore the elephant in the room, the hysterically bad 9% on Rotten Tomatoes. That site has become so intertwined with themo is industry that a TV ad for Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation actually used its 93% score as a marketing gimmick. The last two films in the past 10 years probably didn’t help either, give how poor the reputation is for them. It also scored a C- on Cinemascore, easily one of the worst Cinemascores for a blockbuster in decades. For comparison, the almost universally maligned Pixels only scored a B. Don’t be surprised when it drops 70% or more next weekend. Honestly I wouldn’t even be surprised if this weekend makes up over half of the gross, with strong competition from The Man from U.N.C.L.E and Straight Outta Compton next weekend.

Most of this wouldn’t matter, however, if the movie actually looked good. I mean, the first teaser was nothing awful but looked in edibles generic and uninspired. However don’t let this be an example of how the superhero genre is dying (as many clickbait headlines are sure to tell you) rather, the disastrous production, the obviousness that it was created to keep the rights, and the 9% is what ultimately lead to its demise. It didn’t have the fun look of Ant-Man or Guardians of the Galaxy, and as it turns out, no one was interested in it.

Overseas grosses weren’t doing it any favor either, only opening to around $34M. It’s not known what territories this was in, but it’s a bad start for sure. At this point a worldwide total of under $150M is all but guaranteed.

Fantastic Four had an atrocious per theater average of only around $6,500 and will be out of theaters within a month.

Speaking of Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, it actually held well enough to hold onto first place. It took in a solid $29M in its se me weekend. Chalk that up to strong word of mouth and a lack of competition. It seems as though late summer was the perfect time to release this, as Mission Impossible are never very front loaded. That’s a better hold than Ant-Man, which took in $24M in its second weekend with a slightly higher opening ($55M for Rogue Nation versus $57M for Ant-Man). It will hopefully continue to do well even with direct competition from The Man from U.N.C.L.E next weekend.

The Gift certainly won the consolation prize, taking in a fantastic $12M from just around 1,600 locations. It’s per theater average was almost $1,000 higher than Fantastic Four, which has to be one of the most mind bogglingly ridiculous box office events in years. It’s creepy get interesting premise obviously hooked a solid audience. Despite a limited release it did much better than As Above/So Below and The Gallows, both of which were under $10M. It scored a B Cinemascore, which is fine for a creepy thriller along these lines (Gone Girl scores a similar score and still managed to more than quadruple it’s weekend by the end of its run). It will likely take in over $30M, as it’s Friday made up just a third of its weekend. This is certainly a nice surprise late-summer hit and an excellent start for the new distributor STX, with this being their first release.

Minions took in $7M this weekend, finally passing the $300M domestic mark. It has certainly been more front loaded than other children’s films but will still likely be able to pull in another $15M or so.

Shaun the Sheep Movie managed to rebound a bit over the weekend but still didn’t do very well. It took in $4M over the weekend, adding to its $5.5M total. It was a bit of a hard sell, as its source material isn’t terribly popular, so it’s hard to call this a really poor debut. If it can hold well it should be fine, but the real audience is home video for sketching like this, so the fact that it made this much in theaters is somewhat surprising.

Trainwreck continued to inch towards the $100M mark, adding another $6M for a new domestic total of $91M. It will likely pass the $100M mark around Labor Day, a very solid result for Schumer’s big screen debut.

Meryl Strep dramedy Ricki and the Flash took in a mediocre $7M this weekend. Given how consistent her fanbase is, it’s hard to call this a win. If word of mouth helps out it could end up with over $25M, but it’s more likely that it simply disappears from theaters very quickly.

Southpaw topped the $40M mark in 10th place this weekend, falling 38% from last weekend. With overseas grosses its up to $50M, and may be able to double its $30M budget by the end of its worldwide run.

Despite bad word of mouth, Vacation had a solid 37% drop this weekend down to $9M. Therefore bringing its total to, well, $37M coincidentally enough. If it can hold out a bit more it may be able to top $50M domestic. Still not a great result, but a surprisngly solid hold given how poorly it was received last weekend.


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