The Fantastic 4 are dead, audiences tentatively accept The Gift, Ricki and the Flash got booed off-stage, motherfuckers didn’t go and see Shaun the Sheep Movie, and Other Box Office News.
by Callum Petch (Twitter: @CallumPetch)
We’re probably never going to get another Fantastic 4 movie again. Not only is the one that was dropped into theatres this past weekend a complete steaming abomination, so venomously destroyed by critics it makes Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 look like Schindler’s List, and dogged by so many rumours of troubled and failed production that the thing more resembled a turd that is being swarmed by hungry flies – hope you’re enjoying your breakfast this morning – even the public wanted nothing to do with it. Most stayed away, smelling a stinker, and even those $26 million worth of people who chose to brave the cinema anyway despised it, giving it an atrocious C- Cinemascore. This franchise is done. Even if Marvel get their toys back, it’s done. There is no coming back from a bomb like this, the brand has been tainted irreparably, it is done.
So, whilst 20th Century Fox was dragging Marvel’s original super-team through the mud one more time out of seemingly nothing more than spite, Joel Edgerton was making his directorial debut with the surprisingly great The Gift. Having been promised a horror/thriller in the vein of producer Jason Blum’s other works – namely: Damn Near Every Single Horror Movie of the Last 3 Years – audiences arrived in a somewhat healthy amount and were instead presented with a drama with thriller elements. Whether or not they were happy about this is still up to debate, but it led to a strong $12 million opening, one of the few unqualified successes of this miserable weekend, and people actually seeing The Gift, so mission accomplished!
Yeah, this was one really bad weekend at the box office. In Wide-ish releases, Jonathan Demme’s return to directing films for a somewhat mainstream audience, Ricki and the Flash, was unceremoniously shrugged to death by audiences, raking in a paltry $7 million for seventh place despite featuring Meryl Streep as an aging rocker. You’d think that that’d be something that people would be dying to see! But at least it wasn’t Shaun the Sheep Movie. Despite being one of the year’s best films, having rave reviews from critics, and me being on your case about seeing it for the last several months, the film didn’t even crack the Top 10 despite opening on well over 2,000 screens. For fucksake, America! It’s Aardman! What do you people have against Aardman, you cretins!?
Things improved slightly in the world of limited releases, though. Whilst The End of the Tour expanded to 36 locations and flailed about for dear life with only $253,000, The Diary of a Teenage Girl was making a pretty decent $55,000 from 4 screens considering the whole “underage sex” part and everything. Jon Watts’ sophomore feature, the pretty decent-looking thriller Cop Car, managed a strong $27,000 from 3 screens, whilst Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet, an animated adaptation of exactly what it says, managed an excellent $26,000 from two screens because FUCKING LOOK AT HOW GORGEOUS THIS THING IS!
Also worthy of note is Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’. The film’s been out since Tuesday and has been blowing people away by posting strong numbers during the week – nearly $2 million on the first day and $1.5 million on the second. Now, I can’t report anything about its weekend for certain, cos FUNimation have been playing weird “now it’s here, now it’s not” games with it, but Dragon Ball is on course to have earned well over $5 million in its first 6 days, whilst remaining in limited release the entire time, never breaking more than 1,000 theatres. Considering that Anime doesn’t do well in Western cinemas, that is majorly impressive.
“It’s Full List time!” is what my older brother used to say before he beat the sh*t out of me. I’m just kidding, I only have a younger brother.
Box Office Results: Friday 7th August 2015 – Sunday 9th August 2015
1] Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation
$29,400,000 / $108,654,000
Forgot to mention this at all last week, but this movie has one of the most blatant examples of Fridging – the art of brutally murdering a character, typically a wife and almost always a woman, for cheap heat/motivation – that I have seen in a Hollywood film in ages. Like, good lord, even Tak3n was less blatant about it! But, despite these things usually riling me up to no end, this one did nothing for me. I just sorta sighed resignedly. It’s like when a bratty kid tries to microwave the family hamster; you’re not angry, you just sigh because you know they’re just doing it for the attention.
2] Fantastic 4
$26,200,000 / NEW
I’m done. I’m not going to waste any more words on this. Here’s my review, go read that. I’m not going to waste any more column inches on this thing because, as I detailed extensively in my review, this is not a film. This is 100 minutes of 20th Century Fox mooning Marvel Studios over the fact that they can’t have their toys back. You could shoot and release bowel movements of mine and they’d be closer to being actual f*cking movies than this piece of sh*t is! So, no, I’m done. Let’s move on.
3] The Gift
$12,007,000 / NEW
Review will be up on my site on Tuesday, but I will say that I really enjoyed this one. I’m even coming around to its ending, which initially rubbed me up the wrong way for a number of reasons but is growing on me as time goes on. Make sure you give this a shot, even if you’re averse to thrillers since it’s actually mainly a drama.
$9,145,000 / $37,325,000
Not too bad of a slide, only 37%, but there also wasn’t much to slide from, so let’s maybe not bust out any party poppers or anything, OK?
$7,826,000 / $147,436,000
Oh, man, I really hope that Fantastic 4’s utter abysmalness doesn’t have a knock-on effect to the good comic book movies. For one, the last thing we need are people believing that the only way to make successful versions of these are to have white male leads, because you know some arsehole pillock studio head is going to correlate the Johnny Storm race-lift to the film’s total box office failure. Plus, my brother, who is way more down the Marvel rabbit hole than I am, thought that this was a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and was therefore planning on seeing this until I corrected him. Just saying, some people are just going to see the Marvel logo and assume they make all of these movies, even the terrible ones, and that’s the last thing they want.
$7,400,000 / $302,754,000
Despicable Me 2 is now on UK Netflix for those of you who have yet to see it. I recommend giving it a shot, it’s really crazy and funny but it’s also legitimately sweet…
Look, I’m going to keep working my arse off to ensure you all realise that you don’t hate the Minions because of their films. You hate them because of advertising oversaturation and appropriation by the kind of evil, heartless, mindless drones who force Facebook memes into existence. *shudders*
7] Ricki and the Flash
$7,000,000 / NEW
Having watched the trailer for the first time whilst writing this piece, I now understand why this face-planted right out of the gate. This looks awful, like a Lifetime movie inexplicably granted cinema space. I’m still optimistic, because it’s Jonathan Demme and Diablo Cody and I know that trailers are oftentimes just dreadful, but I get why nobody really turned up to it.
$6,300,000 / $91,102,000
Four more days! Oh, thank the Maker for this weekend! This, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., and Absolutely Anything back-to-back-to-back! It’s like the Movie Gods looked down on me and went, “Callum. Buddy, old pal. Sorry for the last few weeks, and sorry for pushing Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 out of your Bottom 5 Films of 2015 list. But you’ve made it through with your love and enthusiasm for this medium still intact, so here’s a week of nothing but good-looking films you’re excited for as a reward! Good show!”
$5,430,000 / $57,645,000
Oh, yeah, that spoiler piece on Pixels that I was supposed to write. I haven’t forgotten, I’ve just been busy. And my interest in doing it has gone. Heh. OK, here’s the deal, if it’s not up on my site by Thursday, it ain’t coming and y’all will just have to deal with it. Sound good to everyone? Bully for you if it doesn’t.
$4,764,000 / $40,726,000
You people watched this again instead of Shaun the Sheep? You’re all a disgrace to humanity.
Dropped Out: Paper Towns, Inside Out, Jurassic World
Callum Petch weathered the storm. He now writes for his own website (callumpetch.com). Follow him on the Twitters (@CallumPetch)!