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Sunday, 9 August 2015

Is Fantastic Four (2015) The WORST Version Ever?

 

As I said that I would NOT go to see this movie I checked out a lot of reviews and peoples thoughts after seeing it.

Not good.

In fact, it seems almost universally disliked and that leaves me wondering whether there will be a FF II?  We'll see what its taking were but I doubt Marvel will get the movie rights back soon -still a LOT of money to be made out of this.

On Google+, Anthony Malena wrote:

" Fantastic Four Review

I just finished watching the 2015 Fantastic Four movie.  There isn't much to say beyond... the reviews are generally right.  It's a failure.

I could see some bits in it that COULD have been phenomenal.  I'm not going to post Spoilers about it.  Suffice it to say, I'm glad I "did not pay much" to see it.

Non-spoiler observations:

1.  That was not Doctor Doom.  That was something else entirely.  Watching the blame game going back and forth in the media this weekend, Fox versus Trask, it doesn't matter.  That was not Doom - at all.

2.  This was clearly the spiritual successor to Trask's first movie, Chronicle, which itself was an "okay" movie with NO history to live up to.

3.  The special effects were actually pretty poor mostly.  "On par" with it's ten-year-old predecessor movie (in tech, being on par with something ten years old is very sad indeed).

4.  Far too much "governmental integration" (a side effect of taking after the "Ultimate Marvel" version of the FF).

There's a lot more, but honestly, it's a case of beating a horse that died before the race even started.  I'm not even interested in watching it again to critique it any further.  Game over."

And, seriously, that was a nice review.  I never realised it would be that bad.  But I looked around for more "professional" reviews/analyses.


Box Office: 'Fantastic Four' Is Doomed By $11.3 Million Friday Gross

Image courtesy of 20th Century Fox
Image courtesy of 20th Century Fox

We all like to talk about how there are too many superhero comic book movies and/or how audiences are gripped in so-called “superhero fatigue.” But what’s worth remembering is that overall the sub-genre has been one of the more reliable box office performers over the last decade or so. Oh sure, some of them cost too much and some were bigger hits than others. But even the would-be flops like Green Lantern and Watchmen opened above $50 million back in the day, and even an infamous comic book fantasy misfire like Cowboys and Aliens, coming off of dreadful reviews and zero buzz, managed a $36 million opening weekend. Heck, among would-be “big” comic book superhero movies (mainstream, franchise-friendly, big budget, PG-13, etc.), we haven’t really had an opener under $35 million since in The Green Hornet in January of 2011. So it’s saying something, a lot of somethings really, when Fantastic Four may well not quite reach $30 million in its debut weekend and probably won’t even top the box office.

For the record, 20th Century Fox’s much discussed and apparently not very much anticipated Fantastic Four began its weekend sprint just $11.3 million on its initial Friday. That includes a pretty low $2.7m worth of Thursday sneaks. The film cost $120m to produce and Fox (21st Century Fox/NYSE: FOXwas hoping to restart the Marvel franchise which had gone to pasture after two semi-successful but critically dismissed Tim Story films in 2005 and 2007. Those films, bright, campy, and in possession of at least one media-friendly star in the form of Jessica Alba, were actually pretty big hits when you consider what was the norm for a non-Spider-Man comic book movie back in the day. Fantastic Four opened with $56m in 2005 ($70m adjusted for inflation) which was a bigger Fri-Sun than Batman Begins which earned $48m as part of its initial $72m Wed-Sun haul.


The critically-despised picture played well as kiddie fodder, which was worthwhile in a summer when even the Star Wars movie went a little hardcore. The $100m sci-fi adventure earned $330m worldwide, while the sequel, Rise of the Silver Surfer, ended up with $287m on a $130m budget. Fox was probably right that the third at-bat would shoot ever downward, and the franchise was put on ice as they moved on to other things. But after Marvel began their collective cinematic universe with Paramount/Viacom Inc.’s Iron Man and Warner Bros./Time Warner Inc. snagged $1 billion with The Dark Knight, comic book movies roared back to life. As such, Fox went to work rehabilitating the X-Men franchise from the ashes of the successful but disliked X-Men: The Last Stand ($457m worldwide) and the less successful but wholly despised X-Men Origins: Wolverine ($373m, or about what Batman Begins grossed four years prior) while Sony rebooted The Amazing Spider-Man to try to get some of that Twilight money grimdark money expanded universe money.


Somewhere along the line the notion of rebooting Fantastic Four was tossed out as well, because Amazing Spider-Man showed you could reboot anything and everything and because Fox realized their best shot at an expanded universe with their Marvel movies was having a Fantastic Four franchise to team up with their X-Men franchise. But, to use that oft-used quote, they spent so much time figuring out if they could they never stopped for a minute to see if they should. And now, three years after signing Josh Trank off of his low-budget critically and commercially successful Chronicle, which is basically a found footage superhero origin story, we now have Fantastic Four, a film that apparently no one wanted to see. Now there may yet be plenty of blame to go around. I have no idea what did or didn’t happen behind the scenes, but Josh Trank won and then lost a directing gig for a Star Wars spin-off in the bargain.


Yesterday he celebrated the debut of his superhero picture by tweeting that there was a superior version of the film that would have gotten great reviews. The implication, and this has been speculated about for a year, is that Fox stepped in and took what was intended to be an abnormal superhero movie, one with hard sci-fi/body horror elements, and desperately tried to reshape it into a conventional superhero origin story. Maybe the film as Trank delivered truly didn’t work, or maybe Fox didn’t like what they paid for and tried to fashion something more generic, and the final product certainly feels like a hodge-podge of two different films. I’m inclined to believe Trank’s random ramblings because I vastly prefer the first half of the film to the allegedly reshot second half, but whatever truth will come out won’t come out today.


Point being, there is a big question to be asked if this plays out as expected, with an $11.1 million opening day translating into a 2.5x weekend multiplier (and that’s being optimistic) and a $28m opening weekend. And that question is: Did the world really want a second Fantastic Four franchise? The characters aren’t exactly huge with the general public, the hardcore fans have been against the film from the start, and there was little else offered (stars, kid-friendly tone, promised surface-level entertainment value) that would entice those beyond those wanting a new Fantastic Four movie come hell-or-high water and those inclined to see whatever the big new release was on a given weekend. The tracking had this one pegged at around $45m, which means in all likelihood the reviews did real damage this weekend. Now for the record the film did cost $120m, so it may not yet be an outright flop so much as a devastating blow to franchise hopes.

  An $11 million Friday leading to a $28m weekend leading to a $64m domestic leading to an over/under $200m worldwide cume is an embarrassment to be sure, and detrimental to long term franchise plans and hopes of making that pie-in-the-sky “X-Men and the Fantastic Four vs. Galactus” team up movie. It’s not so much that this film is a big miss, although barring an overseas miracle it probably is. It’s that as a would-be franchise starter and member of a theoretical expanded universe, it is basically responsible not just for itself but for long term franchise plans. So at least on its first day, Fantastic Four proved to have great responsibility without the great power that normally goes along with that. Maybe the world didn’t want another Fantastic Four movie. Or maybe they just wanted a good one.

Again, I need to point out that was one of the nicer articles.  Corman's very budget restricted Fantastic Four of the 1990s was more faithful to the comic and though I was very annoyed by the Dr Doom in the later two movies, a lot was cut from Rise Of The Silver Surfer that I think would have made it one of the better movies -and we are not talking over long scenes either! 

Fox obviously had someone tell them that "super heroes are more science fiction now!" and they thought "$!!" but whatever, I think I'll miss this one when the dvd is out!



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