It's clobberin' time for Fantastic Four as Tom Cruise's fifth Mission stays on top
By Rich Matthews
Will Marvel soon have the Fantastic Four back in its superhero stable? Given that Fox can add the smell of box office turkey to the stink coming off its Fantastic Four reboot, maybe. The film – nominally "directed" by Chronicle 's Josh Trank – couldn't even get to number one, with it's $26.2m one of the worst-ever debuts in the current cycle of superhero movies begun at the very end of the last millennium. Only films like Ghost Rider: The Spirit of Vengeance (which opened with $22m) lurk in the depths that Stan Lee's first super-team – which launched Marvel's Silver Age of comics – now wallow.
Given the hefty price tag of $120m, the already announced sequel must be hanging in the balance, even though both Fox and Sony have always seemed prepared to do virtually anything to hang on to their respective Marvel properties – Fox has X-Men and FF; Sony Spider-Man, although the studio is now famously sharing the web with Marvel. FF's lacklustre domestic bow wasn't even tempered by a good international showing (the current trend), with a global opening of $60.3m Fox is unlikely to get the film into the black.
The failure of Fantastic Four to perform left room for Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation to retain pole position, its 47 per cent decline yielding a further $29.4m for a domestic tally of $108.7m and an already impressive $265.4m worldwide. The other new releases to crack the top 10 were The Gift ($12m) at three, the directorial debut of Warrior and Exodus actor Joel Edgerton, starring Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall and Edgerton in a Fatal Attraction-style thriller, and Meryl Streep singing up a storm (again, after Mamma Mia!) at seven in Ricki and The Flash to the tune of $7m, directed by Jonathan Demme and written by Juno scribe Diablo Cody.
The rest of the chart saw, from four to six, Ed Helms' Chevy Chase remake Vacation ($9.1m, $37.3m US), Paul Rudd living large by keeping it small in Marvel's Ant-Man ($7.8m, $147.4m, $326.3m) and Universal's yellow sidekicks Minions ($7.4m, $302.8m, $912.5m). Then from eight to 10, Amy Schumer's Trainwreck ($6.3m, $91.1m, $97.2m), Adam Sandler's summer slump Pixels ($5.4m, $57.6m, $131.2m) and Jake Gyllenhaal getting punched in the heart in Southpaw ($4.8m, $40.7m, $50.8m).
Next weekend, Warner Bros debuts Guy Ritchie's 60s spy homage The Man From U.N.C.L.E. starring Man of Steel's Henry Cavill and The Lone Ranger's Armie Hammer, and NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton, so we should see a shift at the top. But then that's what I said last week about Fantastic Four...