In the weeks leading up to the theatrical release of the new Fantastic Four, an overwhelming feeling of uneasiness began to develop around the film. That uneasiness manifested itself into a disappointing $26.2 million opening weekend at the box office, casting doubt as to whether Fox will want to continue with future iterations.
Coming in second to Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation‘s $29.4 million, the new Fantastic Four reboot puts the franchise on a possible deathbed. It’s the lowest opening weekend ever for a major comic book franchise movie since the Nicolas Cage film Ghost Rider: The Spirit of Vengeance, which opened to $22 million back in February 2012. The release time frame, along with the estimated $60 million budget for the film, allowed it to have lower expectations than Fantastic Four, with its hefty $120 million budget.
Even before the film opened, Fox had set a release date for a sequel in 2017, but those plans may change. Nothing definite has been said by the studio, and Fox distribution chief Chris Aronson stated he was not willing to write off the franchise just yet, but that the studio would examine the franchise’s future.
Casting Miles Teller (Whiplash), Kate Mara (Transcendence), Michael B. Jordan (Chronicle), and Jamie Bell (Snowpiercer) along with enlisting up and coming director Josh Trank (Chronicle) to direct the reboot signaled a youth movement for the franchise that Fox hoped would lead to another franchise than could go side by side with X-Men. Those plans may have changed after the disappointing weekend.
Trank’s ill-advised tweet that damned the final version of the film, which he quickly deleted, also led to growing negativity around the film, which was dogged by terrible reviews.