Cartoons at the box office: A not-so-“Fantastic” voyage

The top film this weekend at the box office once again is “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.” The film-based-in-name-only-on-the-TV show made $29.4 million (-47% from last weekend). So far, it’s pulled in $108.7 million domestic and $173.7 million globally.

On to the most discussed film of this weekend. The newest “Fantastic Four” reboot greatly underperformed, opening in second place with $26.2 million. The film cost $120 million to produce, so it looks like it’ll be relying on overseas box office to hopefully save the day. As for why “Fantastic Four” did poorly, it’s mainly a mix of poor word-of-mouth and very poor reviews. While plenty of films do well even with poor reviews, a combination of bad reviews and word-of-mouth signal a film’s not a must-see, at least at movie theater prices. The film’s Rotten Tomatoes rating is at an abysmally low 9%. Other factors are more superhero-fan-specific (this film’s version of the team is based on the darker but less popular “Ultimate” Marvel versions; some odd choices such as a naked Thing; arguing online over whether “Marvel Cinematic Universe” fans are to blame for “Fantastic Four”‘s failure) or entertainment industry specific (the turmoil behind the film’s production, with even its director disowning the film on Twitter). However, as far as the general public’s concerned, it just looks like a lousy film, or at least one not worth $10-$12+ at the box office (versus waiting for the home video release) with many other box office choices available.

I should note this doesn’t mean the “Fantastic Four” are doomed (no pun intended) as a franchise. The 2005 film of the same name made $331 million worldwide on a $100 million budget; its sequel earned similar numbers, though barely broke even in North America. The public does seem interested in the heroic quartet, but just not this version. Of course, it remains to be seen what overseas box office will bring in.

In fifth place is the other film currently out with Marvel superheroes, “Ant-Man.” Still up and at ’em, “Ant-Man” made $7.8 million (-38.9%), bringing its totals to $147.4 million domestic and $306.9 million globally.

In sixth place is “Minions,” pulling in $7.4 million (-40.3%). The film’s totals stand at $302.8 million domestic (finally crossing $300 million) and $870.1 million worldwide. The debate now is whether it’ll reach $1 billion, and when it’ll happen—it still has some countries left to open in, including China.

In ninth place is “Pixels,” making another $5.4 million (-48.3%). The Adam Sandler video game film’s made $57.6 million domestic and $114.1 million worldwide.

Opening this weekend in North America, but only coming in at a low 11th place (outside the top 10) is “Shaun the Sheep Movie,” earning $4 million. The film still did well globally ($65.3 million to date), but it’s still disappointing it didn’t do better in North America.

Dropping out of the top 10 are “Jurassic World” and “Inside Out.” The dinosaur film’s earned $635.6 million domestic and $1.564 billion globally, while the Pixar film’s made $335.4 million domestic and $608.1 million globally. “Inside Out” is $4 million or so away from passing “Finding Nemo” to become the second-highest-domestic-grossing Pixar film of all time.

Opening next weekend are the final major films of the summer: “The Man From UNCLE,” based on the classic 60s TV show, and “Straight Outta Compton,” a documentary about the rise of rap group NWA.

 

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