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article image'Fantastic Four' falls flat as 'Mission' wins again

By Tim O'Brien     Aug 9, 2015 in Entertainment
"Fantastic Four" did not do what other superhero films have done - conquer the box office. It flopped and let "Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation" retain the top spot at the box office.
"Fantastic Four" is not a Disney/Marvel film and it showed at the box office. It is from Fox and fan boys and those very familiar with the superhero lore, stayed away. Not only that, it was butchered by critics and those who saw it. It was doomed as word-of-mouth spread.
Sooner or later a superhero film was going to open poorly, due to glut, but this one may not fall into that category. There have been failed launched of "Fantastic Four" projects before, so the headline is familiar. Again this was not Disney/Marvel but rather Fox/Marvel.
It allowed Tom Cruise and "Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation" take its second weekend box office crown with $29.4 million. "Fantastic Four" did manage to grab second with a weak opening number of $26.2 million, domestically.
Weekend, domestically
1. "Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation" - $29.4 million
2. "Fantastic Four" - $26.2 million
3. "The Gift" - $12 million
4. "Vacation" - $9 million
5. "Ant-Man" - $7.8 million
Overseas, it was also "Mission" winning again.
The story behind the headlines are that "Fantastic Four" under-performed by almost 40 million for projections going into the weekend. Some estimates had it at $40-45 million, so this one hurts even more. The film was expensive to produce and then this result may make many wonder why this is not the property of Disney/Marvel.
Meanwhile, "Mission" fell only 47 percent and remained solid in its win. The word-of-mouth last weekend pushed that over estimates and helped retain an audience in its second frame.
The Wrap noted that the audience for "Fantastic Four" was mostly male to the tune of 60 percent, as expected, but it was just not that many of them.
If there was a surprise this weekend, it may have been "The Gift," a thriller that grabbed $12 million and finished third. But, "Rickie and the Flash" starring Meryl Streep and Rick Springfield hit a sour note with $7 million. "Rickie" was on less theaters than "The Gift," however. The studio is hoping for legs with "Rickie" as older audiences do have the need to see a film in its first weekend.
"Shaun the Sheep" reaped $4 million from 2,320 theaters, which shows why "The Gift" might have been the surprise of the weekend since they were in the same ballpark in terms of theaters showing the film.
"Vacation" did not drop that much, but since its opening was so bad, a 37.7 percent drop was a wash. It came in fourth with a paltry $9 million and recent champ, "Ant-Man," rounded out the top five with $7.8 million.
The movie business knows that August and September can often take a hit due to other events like school starting and end of the summer vacations, so a slower box office is here. What helps is a movie to over-achieve and help this year continue on a record pace.
But, with September come the NFL, college and high school football, plus school events that take families away from theaters. Come Halloween and the holidays and it picks up again.
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