It appears Josh Trank and 20th Century Fox did something Doctor Doom could never do, they destroyed the Fantastic Four.
Wow, just wow, what the hell happened to 20th Century Fox’s Fantastic Four? In this new age of comic book films it seems that any film with it’s basis from a Marvel or DC comic will debut at number one at the box office with at least $50 million, shoot Marvel’s Ant-Man even accomplished this and no one knew anything about him and the premise to those outside of comics is kind of lame.
The Fantastic Four at least have The Thing, a giant rock monster, and The Human Torch. These two characters are infinitely cooler than Ant-Man, but Fantastic Four debut at #2 with only $26.2 million which is almost $100 million less than it cost to make ($120 million) and when a summer movie is expected to make at least half of it’s budget back in the first weekend I think it’s safe to say this movie is a bomb.
Right now this movie is sitting at a 9% on Rotten Tomatoes and you can check out our friend Tyler Richardson’s review of this film over at Latino-Review.com if you’d like a more in depth review (http://www.latino-review.com/news/film-review-fantastic-four). It’s clear though that very few people like this movie and like it less than the previous two FF movies, 27% and 37% and now there are rumors that Deadpool 2 will be taking Fantastic Four 2’s spot in 2017.
With all of this where does 20th Century Fox go with this franchise?
Option One: would be just to continue on with this current cast and hope that you can entice someone who can right the ship and hope you can win back the audience. This is probably Fox’s best option here. Most reviews for the film say the cast had good chemistry and that most of the down side to the film was the narrative and not the performances.
Option Two: is for Fox to reboot this franchise yet again, which is would probably yield even less of a return at the box office since fans are getting a bit tired of reboots, especially quick reboots (see Amazing Spider-Man).
Option Three: work with Marvel much like Sony is working with them. Lend them the Fantastic Four (and maybe the X-Men, Marvel might play hardball here) to Marvel and let them use them or for the love of Odin let them use Dr. Doom. Marvel would control the fate of F4 and would work with Fox on producing stand-alone F4 movies. If rumors of how controlling Fox was with director Josh Trank are true this option might be the longest shot. Though Fox really wants to bring the X-Men back to the small screen, so this too could be a bargaining chip for both sides.
Or, lastly Fox could either sell the franchise back to Marvel or just sit on the rights until the revert back to Marvel. The likelihood of this happening all depends on how valuable this franchise is to Fox at this point. If Fox is lucky this movie will make back the 120 million once it hits the dvd/blu-ray market.
The franchise as a whole has made a total of $319.5 million in theaters as apposed to a production cost of $350 million. This is still the first week of the latest Fantastic Four movie so I’m sure it will make back the remaining $31.5 million so the franchise will at least break even when it comes to cost vs box office. Though this doesn’t take into affect the cost of advertising and DVD sales. Either way this franchise has not been very profitable for 20th Century Fox.
So what does this all mean? Honestly, nothing right now. Fox needs to determine how valuable this franchise is to them and whether or not they can turn it into a tent pole like X-Men or Wolverine. At this point I don’t know if Fox can do that. They’ve got some creative talent that they trust in Bryan Singer and Matthew Vaughn, but whether or not either one of them wants to take over this train wreak is something completely different.
So what do I think will happen here? I think Fox will hold on to the rights and probably not even bargain with Marvel, the two have seemed to be at odds, at least with Sony and Spider-Man there was talk of Marvel and Sony throwing out Easter eggs for each other (Osborn building in Avengers and Avengers’ Tower in Amazing Spider-Man). I don’t know if they’ll continue with this cast or wait until the rights are about to revert back to Marvel (like they did with this outing) and then reboot yet again.
Personally, I’m not a huge fan of the Fantastic Four, I like Johnny Storm, but that’s about it. However, I’d like the rights to revert back to Marvel because I’d like to see Doctor Doom in the MCU. Sure Doom started out as a F4 villain but overtime he grew into a threat for the entire Marvel Universe, clashing with everyone from Spidey, to Shield, to Iron Man, and the X-Men. Also, like Loki, he wouldn’t be a one-off villain. They could use him over and over again, plus Doom Bots which means the Avengers could take out hordes of these things without actually killing anyone so it stays family friendly for parent company Disney.
Time will tell how Fox will deal with their second attempt at a Fantastic Four Franchise flopping. I still think they’ll hold onto the movie rights and will probably go to Vaughn or Singer to right the ship on the current franchise. Don’t be surprise to see a cameo from one of the four in a future X-Film (probably not Deadpool or Apocalypse) before we seen another F4 movie.