Okay, so good news for Tom Cruise here, as MI:5 fell just 48% to come in with $29 million and bring the movie's total to $109 million, possibly on its way to a $200 million gross. But in catastrophic news, the new Fantastic Four movie suffered on three fronts- first, the film was absolutely decimated by the critics, with an abysmal 9% Rotten Tomatoes rating and a 27 on Metacritic (one of the lowest scores I've ever seen for the latter). Then, the day before the move opens, the director Josh Trank tweets that the studio is responsible for destroying the movie, the finished product of which was apparently not his version (say goodbye to Hollywood, Josh Trank), and finally the Fantastic Four bombed with audiences as well, earning just $26 million for the weekend and a dreadful "C-" Cinemascore from crowds (kind of hard to do). It's one of the lowest openings for a superhero film in history, and well below the two mid to high-50's openings for the previous, also terribly reviewed Fantastic Four movies in 2005 and 2007.
So what happens now? Well, I wonder whether 20th Century Fox, having failed now three times to successfully launch this property, might just sell the rights back to Marvel for 10% of the gross or so, rather than attempt to do something with it again. Makes sense, doesn't it? I don't think we're looking at a FF sequel anytime soon after this epic fail of a weekend. You really don't see things like the director of a movie publicly dismissing it outright before it even opens. It will suffer a massive drop next week and will likely struggle to make $60 million domestic, making it one of the genre's biggest bombs ever. The other new releases this weekend fared differently- The Gift, the retro-thriller from Joel Edgarton and starring Jason Bateman, actually outperformed with a decent $12 million for third place (boosted by stellar reviews) and Meryl Streep's Ricki and the Flash failed to crack the top five, opening with $7 million from over 1000 screens, one of the lower debuts for a Streep film. Aardman Studio's Shaun of the Sheep also landed soft, coming in with just $5 million, while the top five were rounded out by Vacation and Ant-Man.
- Mission: Impossible- Rogue Nation- $29.4 million
- Fantastic Four- $26.2 million
- The Gift- $12 million
- Vacation- $9.2 million
- Ant-Man- $7.8 million
In limited release, The Diary of a Teenage Girl became the latest Sundance film to disappoint at the box office, with a $13k per screen average in just 4 theaters. It had some of the very strongest reviews of the year, but the indie scene just hasn't caught fire in 2015 as we wait for Oscar season to jumpstart it. Next week it's the release of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. against the NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton, which could well be a breakout hit, if early buzz and strong tracking are to be believed. Also it's the limited release of Noah Baumbach's Mistress America, so there will be a strong slate to choose from next weekend. See you then!