Fantastic Four Flames Out; Compton Makes Man Cry UNCLE - Weeks 15-16 | Jurassic World | Avengers: Age of Ultron | Inside Out

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Fantastic Four Flames Out; Compton Makes Man Cry UNCLE - Weeks 15-16

Jurassic World
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Inside Out
Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation
Pitch Perfect 2
Straight Outta Compton
Fantastic Four
The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

Perhaps the most beloved thing about super hero movies in Hollywood is even when no one likes them, they still make a lot of money. There's no huge up swell of love for the Wolverine movies, the latest Spider-Man movies, either of the Hulk movies, or even the first two Fantastic Four movies. Still, all of those films opened decently and made back a huge chunk of their change even if they weren't Tony Stark Tech-like hits. To make a film so joyless and dull that people preferred the acting prowess and terrible blonde dye jobs of Jessica Alba, now that's fantastic!

The newest Fantastic Four had a $25.7 million debut which is low enough even the Frightful Four would shudder. Suits can try to point to the bad reviews as the reason why, yet even Green Lantern opened to twice as much with just as much swirling bad buzz. As much as "fanboys" complained about the cheesy versions from the 00's, the rebooted version stripped-out everything that people associated with the franchise and then failed to build anything new. If the last one was silly, let's make this totally serious. If the last one had scenes of the characters bonding and becoming a family, we don't need any of that stuff. And if every now and then the super heroes seemed to do something, I don't know, fantastic, we can cut that out too.

On a personal note, I'm usually the first person to give someone a chance to tell their version of a comic book without going, "But hey, that's not consistent with issue #212 in 1983!" At best, the reboot was completely ill-conceived and failed to delivery on whatever they thought they were taking so... so... so... long to build-up to. The best part was being able to discuss why the film was bad with my kids. My eleven year-old noticed they skipped all the "learn to use their powers" and "come together as a team" scenes which is literally Origin Story 101. I was able to show my oldest how the movie run-time was shorted to just over 90 minutes so the studio could squeeze in as many showings as they could opening weekend because they knew they weren't going to make a dime by Monday. Ah, teachable moments!

By the time the second weekend hit, Fantastic Four collapses 68% and thanks to me using a gift card and going with the AMC discounted before noon ticket price, almost none of the paltry $42.1 million over 10 days came from me. DC Comics/Warner Bros. better take note. Fox had already scheduled a FF2 for Summer 2017 that's clearly going to be canned now. Just because you tell people you're going to release films and sequels, doesn't mean people are actually going to pay their money to see it.

At least in Week 16 there was one more hit in the summer and wasn't just on the music charts. Straight Outta Compton delivered the bio-pic experience younger film-goers had been waiting for. While most avoided last year's James Brown flick Get On Up, the crowds were hyped for this retro film to the tune of $60.2 million. Yes, more than either Ant-Man or Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation opened with. As you can imagine, the budget for Straight Outta Compton was immensely less, so their net profits are fo shizzle.

Director Guy Ritchie may have made a mint with his Sherlock Holmes films, but he still can't make a hit without Robert Downey Jr.... And Henry Cavill, you're no Robert Downey Jr. The Man From U.N.C.L.E. didn't even get an invite to the reception with a $13.4 million opening weekend. It couldn't even top Mission Impossible's $17.2 million in its third weekend. An uncle hasn't been abused this much since Uncle Joey in Back To The Future.

Ironically, there was a point when Tom Cruise was going to star in The Man From U.N.C.L.E. While that would have made zero sense to most people (You mean, you'll have been the star of two different spy series both born out of 60's TV shows?), this is Tom Cruise we're talking about. He probably just heard he could crash a speed boat and bungee off a helicopter and he'd be in.

Meanwhile, his own film, Mission Impossible - Rogue Nation has done respectably if not spectacularly. It's made $138.3 million in three weeks and could still maybe get to $175 million, but it seems to be on the wrong refrain if it hopes to catch Pitch Perfect 2. Could it take a movie about a real music group to beat a movie about a fake one? Let's see if Straight Outta Compton can keep bringing the beat back.

The Top Five If Today Was Labor Day:
#1. Jurassic World - $638 million
#2. Avengers: Age of Ultron - $457.4 million
#3. Inside Out - $339.4 million
#4. Minions - $312.9 million
#5. Pitch Perfect 2 - $183.8 million

by Matt Neuenburg on 08/21/2015

Movies Mentioned in this Post: Avengers: Age of Ultron, Fantastic Four, Inside Out, Jurassic World, Minions, Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation, Pitch Perfect 2, Straight Outta Compton, The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
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