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Weekend B.O. Aug 7-9 (Doomed From the Get-Go)

Weekend B.O. Aug 7-9 (Doomed From the Get-Go)

So let me ask a question for all you comic book fanboys out there? Why can’t they make a decent movie about the Fantastic Four? They keep trying and they keep failing. What’s the problem? 
Tim Story’s “Fantastic Four” films are considered by many to be, perhaps, the nadir of Marvel film adaptations. But now this new “reboot” directed by Josh Trank (“Chronicle”) has evidently taken the honors for being the worst. It seems it was doomed from the very beginning.

When reports started to surface about problems with the film’s approach to the source material, as well the casting, Trank himself (after Disney fired him as director from the next “Star Wars” film in development), his reported strange and unprofessional behavior during the FF shoot, and rumored substance abuse problems, along with all the reshoots (reportedly by another director, though those rumors have been denied), things looked really bad. 

And then the real worry about the film began to take root when Fox announced a few weeks ago that they were restricting most advance previews until less than 36 hours before the film’s Friday release, and all reviews were demanded to be embargoed until opening day; it was obvious that the film was a loser. 
Of course embargoes were made to be broken, and by late Wednesday, reviews started to appear (by the way, dear Fox studios, there is this thing called the internet you know) and it was worse than feared. The reviews have been abysmal for the most part. One review called the film “a colostomy bag of a movie.” Ouch!
Even Trank took to Twitter to post a response (that was quickly deleted that) claiming that Fox, in effect, took his film away from him, ruining his original version, which he claimed was much better. Well, so he says. No one has ever seen it and probably never will.
Actually there is a terrific piece on the website, Film School Rejects, which just came out, chronicling the six year journey to get the film made, which is pretty fascinating, and pretty sad as well.
So with all that, the question was how well FF would do this weekend. The speculation was that Fox was hoping for a $40 million weekend opening, but quickly lowered those expectations. Most analysts were saying perhaps $35-38 million. However, because of such bad word of mouth, I was thinking that, if the film actually did a $35 million opening, it would be lucky; and looks I was right.
The film pulled in only $26.2 million this weekend, coming in second which, for a modestly budgeted movie, would be great; but for a $120 million tentpole superhero movie, it’s a disaster. Even worse, because word of mouth will sink it even further, I would be surprised if it dropped by 60% (or more) next weekend.
And Fox had already announced that the next FF film was scheduled to be released in 2017. Well you can cancel those plans. It’ll be interesting to see what will Fox do next. Will they just give up Fantastic Four altogether, or try yet again another “reboot” with a new cast, director and screenwriters. And if they did, who would want to see it, given their track record with the property? Maybe some things should be just left alone.
In the meantime, once again, “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation” was No.1 for the second straight weekend in a row, with $29.4 million, and over $108 million domestically so far.
The Meryl Streep drama, “Ricki and the Flash,” directed by Jonathan Demme, was a non-starter, with just $7 million; and “Pixels” just continues to sink, making it one of the biggest losers for Sony Pictures this year.
A nice surprise though was the very good $12 million opening for the creepy suspense thriller “The Gift” starring, written and  directed by Joel Edgerton, co-starring Jason Bateman, in what may be his best performance yet. The very modestly budgeted $5 million film made over twice its production budget this weekend, based on excellent reviews, and a savvy marketing campaign which told audiences what the film was about, but not everything that happens in the film, which goes into truly unexpected twists and turns, and which shifts the audience’s sympathies with the main characters.
1) Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation         Par.        $29,400,000     Total:  $108,654,000      –
2)  Fantastic Four    Fox         $26,200,000   
3)  The Gift (2015) STX         $12,007,000   
4)  Vacation              WB (NL)               $9,145,000         Total $37,325,000      
5)  Ant-Man              BV          $7,826,000           Total  $147,436,000     
6)  Minions                Uni.        $7,400,000       Total  $302,754,000      
7)  Ricki and the Flash           TriS         $7,000,000         Total $7,000,000  
8)  Trainwreck          Uni.        $6,300,000    Total  $91,102,000     
8)  Pixels    Sony      $5,430,000          Total  $57,645,000       
10) Southpaw           Wein.    $4,764,000         Total  $40,726,000    
11) Shaun the Sheep Movie               LGF     $5,571,000            
12)  Inside Out           BV          $2,689,000          Total $335,375,000

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