If you have read our review on this film last week, then it probably won’t come as any surprise that Fox’s latest attempt to bring the Fantastic Four to the big screen hasn’t gone down well with the (sometimes) discerning British public. For it’s opening weekend, the Fantastic Four managed to just about fight its way the top spot in the UK and Ireland box office rankings, taking a mere £2.7m, only just beating Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation into second with £2.4m.
While £2.7m may seem to be a pretty good return in a market as small as the UK and Ireland (relative to the US and China), it sits well below Marvel’s much less well-known summer offering of Ant-man which took just over £4m in its opening weekend in mid-July. Taking a quick look around the other main blockbusters this year we can see just how badly Fantastic Four has performed in its opening weekend:
- Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation = £5.4m
- Inside Out =£7.4m
- Terminator Genysis = £3.8m
- Jurassic World = £19.4m
- Avengers: Age of Ultron = £18m
Even Fox’s efforts with X-Men have been more successful in recent years with their most recent offering Days of Future Past topping £9m in May last year.
Fox cannot even blame the release date for the lack of success. Firstly, they chose to release a film right in the middle of the UK and Ireland’s summer holiday season. Secondly, even taking that into account, last year The Inbetweeners 2 took £12.5m in the equivalent weekend, while Guardians of the Galaxy took second place that week with £3.3m despite having been released the weekend before.
That’s right, even possibly the most obscure Marvel film to date, Guardians of the Galaxy, managed to take more in the box office in its second week on release than the Fantastic Four did in its opening one. And if you go back a week further to look at Guardians’ opening weekend, it more than doubled Fantastic Fours with £6.4m.
Possibly even worse news for Fox, is that the 2015 Fantastic Four opening weekend even fell below that of their 2005 effort which managed to take £3.5m, despite the older version also having a plethora of poor reviews. If this isn’t proof that Fox needs to walk away from the Fantastic Four franchise, I’m not sure what is.
Fox may have made a success from their X-Men films but even that hasn’t been without the odd misstep, like the dreadful X-Men: Last Stand, and the moderately effective but comparatively mediocre Wolverine spin-offs. But at least with X-Men, Fox had the first two good films to fall back on when switching the franchise up and reviving it with First Class. None of that exists with Fantastic Four and as long as Fox hold onto it, it looks like it never will.
I can’t think of any greater justification for Fox handing back the Fantastic Four to Marvel than this – not only have Fox made a complete mess of this film after having made a mess of their previous two attempts, but they have done so at a time when it is almost impossible to make a comic book/super hero box office flop. Disney/Marvel even managed to make Ant-man and the Guardians of the Galaxy into more successful films on opening weekend than Fox’s effort with one of the most enduring franchises in Marvel history!
Sadly, I fear that won’t happen and Fox will persevere with their destruction of the Fantastic Four and future movie offerings will be Dr Doomed to further Fox failure.