Unable to weather months of toxic buzz and withering reviews, the Fantastic Four reboot landed with a thud in theaters this weekend, barely clearing $26 million on nearly 4000 screens and settling for a second-place finish behind last week’s #1, Mission: Impossible—Rogue Nation. That’s the lowest opening for a wide-release superhero movie since 2012’s Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance; even worse, it’s less than half of what the last two Fantastic Four movies opened at, ten and eight years ago ($56 and $58 million, respectively). Even worse, it landed a C- from CinemasScore, the notoriously blockbuster-friendly moviegoer poll—the worst score in memory for a major superhero movie. (For comparison’s sake, Catwoman’s CinemaScore was a B, and audiences gave Superman IV a C. Even Batman and Robin earned a C+.)
Fantastic Four was probably done for months ago, but co-writer/director Josh Trank didn’t do himself any favors by tweeting, on opening night, “A year ago I had a fantastic version of this. And it would’ve received great reviews. You’ll probably never see it. That’s reality though.” Trank subsequently deleted the message, but screencaps made their way across Twitter and the entertainment press all weekend.
F4 was reportedly rebooted to keep rights to the property in the pocket of Fox (and away from the Disney-owned Marvel Studios). “No one’s sure what the film’s start means for the sequel, which is already dated for June 2017,” notes The Hollywood Reporter. Hey, here’s a nutty idea: maybe they can just not make any more Fantastic Four movies. Bat it around in a conference call, lemme know how it goes.