‘Fantastic Four’ Flops: How to Fix Hollywood’s Reboot Problem

Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

The success of “Jurassic World” and the failures of “Terminator: Genisys” and “Fantastic Four” should make studios reconsider their approach to rebooting franchises that have grown stale.

“The crucial ingredient is surprising fans in a good way,” said Phil Contrino, vice president and chief analyst at BoxOffice.com. “You want to break their expectations.”

Absence does make the heart grow fonder and finding a way to make the familiar feel fresh is essential. Analysts argue that for a revival to succeed, studios either need to let sufficient time pass between installments, cook up a blisteringly original take on the material or some combination of both.

Thirteen years separated installments in the “Jurassic Park” franchise, and in that time a generation of moviegoers, weaned on summer blockbusters with the first film in the dinosaur series, had come of age and was eager to share the magic of watching a velociraptor feast on park-goers with its own children. In the process, an unorthodox, multi-generational smash was born.

In the case of “Terminator: Genisys,” it has been only six years since 2009’s “Terminator Salvation” looked at the fallout from Skynet’s robotics experiments, while eight years lie between the latest “Fantastic Four” and 2007’s “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.” An even shorter gap helped cripple Sony’s “The Amazing Spider-Man,” which hit theaters with a whole new wall-crawler a mere five years after “Spider-Man 3” debuted.

Of course, part of the reason for this rush to reboot is rights issues. Characters like the Fantastic Four, Wolverine and Spider-Man are licensed by studios and if they do not go into production on a movie featuring the heroes within a certain time frame, the rights revert to Marvel and by extension its parent company Disney. Time is a luxury many can’t afford.

For its part, Fox doesn’t believe that more space between the reboot and the franchise it was reviving would have resulted in stronger box office.

“I don’t think it was too soon,” said Chris Aronson, the studio’s distribution chief.

He said it’s not clear whether or not there will be more “Fantastic Four” adventures or if the characters will be repurposed and used in a supporting capacity in Fox’s “X-Men” films and their spinoffs.

“We have a lot to look forward to in our comicbook character universe,” said Aronson. “We may find different ways to feature these characters in the future, but it’s early and we’ll have to see what form that takes.”

Timing may not have been the only fatal flaw. After all, “Vacation” had 18 years between Griswold family outings and it still stumbled. Being irredeemably bad, as most critics argued “Fantastic Four” was, matters more than the distance between two sequels.

To its credit, “Fantastic Four” did try to find the perfect alchemy of respect for its source material and a willingness to take creative risks. It cast talented actors like Michael B. Jordan and Miles Teller, brought in a young and edgy director in Josh Trank and tried to embrace a darker tone than the earlier, campy efforts. On paper, it seemed like the right approach. Trank made a stir with “Chronicle,” his low-budget superhero deconstruction, and matching indie talent with big studio fare, as “The Dark Knight” trilogy did with Christopher Nolan, historically reaps dividends.

Still, the story Trank told was not substantially different from the 2005 adventure. Once again, audiences found out how a science experiment gone wrong created a foursome blessed with awesome powers. It was all preamble and seemed to exist solely to set up future sequels.

It didn’t help when reports of a troubled shoot and Trank’s erratic behavior leaked out. His relationship with the studio deteriorated to the point where the director essentially disavowed the film on Twitter the day before it opened.

“When you have an indie filmmaker come on who doesn’t do these kind of movies, you have to get him fully invested and not saying negative things,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Rentrak. “That’s tough to overcome. Fangirls and fanboys might not listen to a 50-year-old critic, but they’ll listen to the filmmaker.”

He noted that “Jurassic World” director Colin Trevorrow became an important ambassador for the film, going as far as to surprise audiences at screenings of the picture.

The problems that crippled “Fantastic Four” have bedeviled other reboots. “The Amazing Spider-Man” was yet another look at a dweeby tween who gets a bite from an arachnoid and becomes a masked vigilante. The girlfriend may have been changed — Gwen Stacy got swapped in for Mary Jane Watson — but the story of a young hero balancing dating with crime fighting was indistinguishable. Sony, the studio behind the “Spider-Man” films, is back at the drawing boards, relaunching the film for a third time, although this installment will feature an age-appropriate actor who looks like he wouldn’t set off Amber alerts while walking a high school’s halls.

For a time, origin stories were all the rage. They seemed like a novel way to re-introduce well-known characters to moviegoers — explaining how James Bond became a womanizing alcoholic, why Batman wears his cowl or when Kirk met Spock.

“These origin films have become so tiresome to people,” said Jeff Bock, an analyst with Exhibitor Relations. “You can’t do that every few years and expect it to differentiate your movie.”

That dramatic approach may be reaching a tipping point, however, despite the fact that the coming years will find big screen dramatizations of the early years of the likes of Han Solo, Robin Hood and King Arthur. “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” starts in media res with an older Bruce Wayne fully committed to being Gotham’s avenger, and the screenwriters of the new Spider-Man film have suggested they won’t be revisiting the nibbling spider.

Certainly, that method paid off with “Jurassic World,” which put new characters like Chris Pratt’s animal trainer in the familiar environs of Isla Nublar, seemingly setting the stage for more adventures in genetic experimentation. It’s early, but J.J. Abrams’ “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” seems to have found the right balance by mixing in old favorites like Luke Skywalker and Chewbacca with a younger crop of rebels, storm troopers and droids. And “Ghostbusters” has discovered a fresh angle by jettisoning one group of male scientists for four of the funniest female comedians working today.

Audiences are wise to money grabs. Studios may need to do a better job changing the packaging.

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  1. ed says:

    Lazy reboots and remakes that are watered down versions of the original and massaged by studios to try to appease to general audiences are the big problem. A lot of the gems that worked in the past were innovative and had stories, characters, and messages that stood out as different. Now, everything looks the same, with the same arcs, stories, and for the most part, the same white male leads.

    FF failed because it didn’t capture any of the spirit of the comic stories. The FF is about a FAMILY. The patriarch and matriarch in Reed and Sue with the “children” in Johnny and Ben. It was a family unit of superheros like the Incredibles. But by making them into all angsty teenagers, including Doctor Doom (ridiculous), it was just a bunch of spoiled kids moping around.

  2. B Newberg says:

    There is no way I will waste my hard earned money to go watch a politically correct reboot of a story I grew up on. I won’t waste my money on taking my kids to see it either. Instead I’ll go down the road and buy them some comic books with a good story line. There are hundreds of story lines for each of these hero’s and no real reason to do a “reboot” other than studio laziness.

  3. John Smith says:

    I don’t think that you know what an Amber alert is. It’s for kidnapped children, not strange adults in a school.

  4. I thought Terminator Genysis was awesome. I also considered the first Terminator the best of them all. I think younger audiences who like T2 best don’t get all the inside stuff for fans of the original. If you listened to reviews and skipped it in theaters, check it out on DVD…you’ll be pleasantly surprised.


  6. Jordan Owen says:

    i just think its best that the f4 rights are given to marvel

  7. Jordan Owen says:

    the trouble is the studios behind them are going in the complete wrong direction, fantastic four needed to get this latest installment right, which now makes 4 fantastic 4 films that have not been approved by audiences, they should have kept close to the source material to play it safe and considered dark and gritty once f4 was better established in cinema, also j trank was too inexperienced, you could not expect him to direct a big marvel film after just chronicle.
    Now terminator….what happened to the 15-18 rating the only reason the films are as big as they are is because of the bloody and thrilling first 2 films, as a game of thrones director I expected alan taylor to follow the r rated themes the terminator films are famous for.
    the directors of f4 and terminator obviously are not taking these films seriously and the studio needs to understand what made these films famous in the first place and follow them with new storyline of course, if they want to make money they need to do more research and they need directors with more experience and a clear sense of direction and appreciation for these great franchises

  8. Aaron says:

    What makes super-hero movies good are the bad guys. Every good comic book movie gets the antagonists right, or even enhances them. What’s wrong with Fantastic Four movies is that they epically fail to capture the essence of Dr. Doom – why Sony cannot figure out one of Marvel’s best villains is beyond me.

    What the good ones also do is capture the essence of the comic stories.

    It is not because they made Johnny Storm black. They made Nick Fury black and it worked fine, no one cared. The bigger issue is that they didn’t get Johnny Storm’s character.

    • John Smith says:

      “They made Nick Fury black and it worked fine,”

      No, the character in the movies is based on Ultimate Nick Fury, who has always been black, and in fact was actually based on Samuel L. Jackson.

  9. This movie flopped for 1 reason and I couldn’t be happier for it. The rest of you can sit there and say “well it flopped for this reason…or that reason”. The truth is it flopped because ole Johnny Storm was turned into a Black man. The rest of us are sick to death of how Hollywood continues to alter story lines and character history just to appeal to the 18% of our society. Mary and Franklin Storm never had a black baby and my boycott of this movie began when I heard the news about the change.

    History is important and the history that was created by Stan Lee and Marvel needs to be left alone and presented as the original material was presented. The strength of the story and the characters can stand on their own without trying to increase the appeal to certain parts of our society. If there was ever a story that had a black character and that character was changed to any other race the river of tears would be never ending and the screams of theft would be deafening. That is why it is unacceptable for whites to allow their history and the stories of our childhoods to be altered.

    If your first reaction to me is to use a buzzword and call me a racist then feel free to go hand over all your worldly possessions to the first black man you see, nothing is stopping you. However I will stand and defend the stories and characters of my childhood and I will demand that they remain true to the origins because the stories deserve it. We don’t owe it to anybody to allow our history to be sold out. Stan Lee may have created these characters but these characters have been a part of my life and I will not stand and watch as those characters are raped. I hope Hollywood, Marvel and all the production companies have learned from this.

    • eriq says:

      AMEN Randall Flagg, I agree 150%, we dont want to admit it but its the truth!

      • Beef_Supreme says:

        It worked out because it was Samuel L. Jackson. Hell, people wouldn’t mind if Jackson played Abraham Lincoln. But who the hell is this Jordan? Pharrel Williams reject no. 78?

      • You are correct. Any PC version of characters thats been around for 60+ years will flop. Many will not let you cram PC down their throats.

      • Aaron says:

        Nick Fury was changed from white to black and it’s almost as if no one remembers the old Fury. So you can change the race of a character and it work out.

        It doesn’t work out in a crappy movie.

  10. Duder NME says:

    “The success of “Jurassic World” …should make studios reconsider their approach to rebooting franchises that have grown stale.”

    …….. WHAAAAA? Universal’s biggest hit, after two also ran sequels, should make Hollywood go fetal with schizophrenia. That reboot hits huge but their reboots flop, and they wanna know why. Not by asking pertinent questions, but by throwing more expensive darts on the cratered dartboard.

  11. The problem is, you don’t need to reboot a franchise that’s less than ten years old. We don’t need another origin story. If you want to use the franchise – that’s fine. Audiences would rather accept new actors in the title roles than start all over while the first film is still in their DVD rotation…

    • Duder NME says:

      Essentially, all films are origin stories, if not for the main characters, then for whichever new characters arrive at the scene (ie, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver for Age of Ultron). It’s not what is told, it’s how it’s told. Start Trek is still in its origin phase two films in, and they’re making sizable bank.

  12. Austin Whitley says:

    I really think that you need to get your facts straight the first Amazing Spider-Man was a success, and Genisys has uyet to open in China so it may be big even though over 300 million off 155 budget isn’t that bad just not great. But Fantastic Four was awesome and the sequel so we really didn’t even ask for a remake ok Hollywood Stop ruining good movies and find originality

  13. Dario says:

    Lets not forget starpower. Casting is essential, everyone likes a familiar face/name

    • Duder NME says:

      No longer. Now audiences want a standout character to latch onto. Not necessarily great characters, just standouts. They care more about Jack Sparrow than Johnny Depp. Where was Robert Pattinson’s fanbase when Water For Elephants and Cosmopolis dropped? The same audience that puked up 1.5 billion for Iron Man 3 was nowhere near a theater playing The Judge.

      Characters, man.

  14. SFFS says:

    (and by x-factor, I mean the anti-hero cable)

    • the watcher says:

      The truth… You want a good marvel movie… Go to marvel. Yes the XMen movies were ok, so we’re even going, but all would have been better done baby marvel. Is plain to see, denying it is the mark of a stupid person period.

  15. matt says:

    I can’t believe they made a point break remake (they better not ruin the legacy!), but that is going to be way better than one more marvel movie. I mean, I know Hollywood isn’t original, but how many superhero remakes are they going to make?? I mean, the only one worth doing is X-factor anyway…

  16. stevenkovacs says:

    ‘Fantastic Four’ won’t be labelled ‘worst reboot’ for long. The no ‘Point Break’ remake coming out soon (delayed from July 31 opening to December 25)

  17. This is what happens when bean counters take over the industry. They try for safe bets by rehashing past hits. You’d think they would learn due to the failure vs success rate. Most reboots don’t fare too well. Couple that with bad writers and you get trash.
    And why reboot a beloved film in the first place? “Total Recall”, “Vacation”, “RoboCop”, and soon to be “Point Break”. Hell, why not just remake “Jaws”? Everyone liked “Jaws”.

  18. Buzzcuts says:

    Stop with the reboots. It’s lazy boring filmmaking done by clueless individuals who pretend they are”creative” but don’t have a clue.

  19. Mike Linder says:

    Thank you for hitting the point perfectly. Ive seen to many articles claiming it was “super hero fatigue” and its just reboot and bad movie fatigue. How many times can we be expected to see the same exact story with different actors?

  20. 80's Guy says:

    For Example I’m a Huge Fan of the Original RoboCop Films,had high hopes for the Reboot,I liked it but didn’t Love it as the Original.I think We were all hoping that it would have been a little closer to the Original Film and for some reason I don’t think there will be a Second one but I would welcome another.I think Robo would make a great Edition to J.L. I can Picture him standing beside BatMan.Thanks.

  21. Max Walker says:

    Why is it that they always have to do reboots? Stop ruining it for us. The original adult version of fantastic four back in 2005 and 2007 where a lot more better then 2015. The 2015 version is far worse with teens. Don’t see the movie. I like the first fantastic four and the silver surfer. NOT this one. The 2015 one gets a Grade F. I liked the original Spider Man with Tobey Micgriure which is far more better then the pathetic Amazing Spider-Man series. They should just stick with the older versions and STOP DOING REBOOTS!! They ruin it.

  22. brad says:

    I think we can be a little more down to earth.
    It is not just a reboot problem that Hollywood has, it is a creativity problem.

    Simply stop making this garbage and write a decent original story.

  23. sarag says:

    How about ending the stupid Marvel Dc hegemony in the movies. End these stupid m-f-king films please.

  24. Jon Dubya says:

    Couldn’t Hollywood fix it’s “reboot problem” by, I dunno, not making them in the first place. The idea that the entertainment industry MUST churn out reboots with assembly-line precession is asinine

  25. bill says:

    The Fantastic Four has been cursed in every iteration except the original comic mag. Why can’t production houses get it right ? Cast it right, tell the story straight outta the originals… and let the special effects make it look good…

    Look at THOR for example… flawless !! breathtakingly beautiful !! true to the original in every last detail… the destroyer, the rainbow bridge, cast, dialogue, costumes, pacing, editing, landscapes, the battle choreography, the nuances of how he uses the hammer, everything is perfectly lifted off the page and onto the screen…. These 2 films are Marvel’s highest, highest water marks to date !! Beyond all praises.

    As for the 4… Well, maybe the X men personalities stole the limelight more than can ever be recaptured by Reed, Sue, et.al….. They’ve had their chances and blew them all…

  26. Jax says:

    Hollywood has become so reliant on sequels and reboots that they tremble at the thought of trying to get an audience to pay money for an original story. They really have no idea how to do it anymore. And putting big money on the line for a big ORIGINAL tentpole? Unthinkable.

    And that’s sad.

    Audiences are, quite frankly, bored. They’re nitpicking because they can. Gee, five different “superhero” movies this summer? Which ones are worth my money.

    There are amazing original scripts out there. Someone just needs to have the balls to take a big breath and greenlight them.

  27. Jon Dubya says:

    That would only be ‘true” if the rest of the movie were…well…fantastic. Unfortunately, the movie as a whole barely rises to the level of mediocre. That can’take all be blamed on one actor. We would also have to pretend that this is the ONLY adaptation to give one of the characters a Race Lift (this isn’t even the only super-hero adaptation to do so.)

    Sorry to let a little perspective slip into the discussion.

  28. uncledoo says:

    Don’t hand over the franchise to people who don’t care what the audience wants to see. It’s bad business and it’s bad art.

    “Time between installments” is irrelevant in an age when the audience has instant access to every movie ever made.

    “Jurassic World” is an eminently flawed story which delivers on its promise: stupid people being gobbled by a variety of interesting dinosaurs.

    “Terminator: Genisys” opens in a dark, cluttered world that we’ve seen before in several other movies, not including this franchise, with a character giving a speech to a crowd for what seems like 10 minutes. Contrast this with, say, “Mad Max: Fury Road,” which opens in a world we’ve seen before, but gets right to the action, then whipsaws in another direction, then another, then another — and includes new and interesting details in this world.

    In “Fantastic Four,” begin with Dr. Storm leading the action, gathering the four, directing the “mission” — being what we in drama call the protagonist, the hero, the shot caller, the leader, when it should be Reed Richards leading the action, because he’s the, y’know, LEADER of the team.


    Then change the origin, but make it very, very stupid, on a barren rock that is so visually cinematic, to see anything like it in reality, I’d have to walk all the way outside to the theater parking lot and stare at the asphalt.

    In the story we all came to see, the Fantastic Four gain their powers after their rocket is accidentally bombarded with cosmic rays — a fitting setting in the space-race era in which they were created.

    To update it, have Reed Richards pioneering modern-day “private” space travel, the hubris of science and money, the accident that could have been avoided.

    Not to mention screwing up one of the most original-looking villains in comics history for the 2nd time. How does that happen? How does a producer greenlight that decision? Yeah, the Eiffel Tower is awesome, but instead make it shiny dome covered with glitter.

  29. James Sanford says:

    How many superhero epics are people supposed to see in one summer, in one year? Too many of them are the same old formula: geek gets super-powers, madman gets super-weapon, cities crumble and cars fly through the air, etc. It’s absurd to expect audiences to continue to pay for the same movie under a different title again and again. Instead of finding the next reboot, try finding something original and exciting. Moviegoers want the next INSIDE OUT or INCEPTION, not another TERMINATOR outing with a freshly Botox-ed Schwarzenegger trying to convince us he’s still 30 years old or another rehash of a comic book or barely remembered TV show.

  30. HPR says:

    The entire industry needs a deep, soul-searching company retreat into the woods. You do realize you can decide WHAT you give people, right? People like movies and have buying power – but that doesn’t mean they should dictate WHAT you make. Hollywood fell WAY too hard for the aintitcoolnews/comiccon geek culture as power tool. Stop following trend. Create trend. Create original stories. The film business is literally the most depressing, uninspiring creative enterprise going. Either kill it off – or just stick to TV.

  31. pleasedon't says:

    “Who looks like he wouldn’t set Amber alerts, bla bla bla.”

    Oh God, that was so innapropiate. By the way, this kid they have chosen doesn’t even look like Peter, it’s a very disappointing cast. Andrew did look like Peter. Oh and, just so you know, Peter is supposed to be 20-something and married in Civil War, so nope, it’s not a good casting and you certainly don’t seem to know a thing about comics.

    • Normandywells says:

      come on-you’re kind of dumb. Garfield was almost 30 and looked it-casting him as a sixteen year old was one of five hundred mistakes (another one was casting Emma as a genius when she looked and acted like some stupid valley girl!-people literally cheered when she died!) The “kid” they cast does indeed look like Peter-a young thin guy. Have you ever seen a comic? Hint-the Civil Wars storyline doesn’t have anything to do with spidey for the movie since he only appears in a few minutes.

  32. janssen says:

    Terminator Genisys is not a failure movie it just not failure and not success

  33. PSMichael says:

    Not so fast on Star Wars. That still looks like it has the possibility of being a flop, except for people’s curiosity for the original actors.

    • therealeverton says:

      Nah. There’s so many people who are Star Wars mad (In that Harry Potter / Twilight way) that the film will make money even if it’s garbag. Even Attack of The Clones made over $600m bck in 2002.

  34. Kristin says:

    For some reason, the Fantastic Four train wreck had been quite entertaining me to follow once the reviews started coming in.
    There’s a lot of speculation on why this version and the previous F4 movies failed. I think that Fox just wanted a cash grab instead of pursuing a good story.
    Josh Trank seemed like a perfect fit. He had made a small budget superhero-esque movie and it made a lot back. Chronicle was critically praised. However, he was not a fan of the F4 comics and wanted to focus more on body horror and creating a spiritual sequel to Chronicle. I don’t know what happened between the years he was hired and started filming but Fox should have caught on that Trank and the team were not making an F4 movie that would be liked by audiences. But then again, Fox was looking for money.
    If Fox was looking for a good story based on the true spirit of F4 comics, the studio should have thought outside the box. Audiences–comic book and general–alike come to superhero movies to be entertained. They want to see good action and a story that reflects society and humanity. The powers the Fantastic Four team gets are just a representation of their personality to be blatantly seen. The body horror would have been appropriate because this is scary. However, whoever made this movie didn’t see the bigger picture. The horror of gaining these powers bonds the team as Marvel’s First Family. It shows that we can come together and accept one another despite our blatant differences. Fox also missed that the heart of F4 comics was space adventure and science.
    Fox and Trank and their whole team missed out on why audiences love superhero movies and F4. If they branched out of the usual grim dark or campy funny tones, they could have delivered something new and exciting. Some of the pitches I’ve read online have been great such as setting the movie in the 1960s then time traveling them to present. I don’t think Fox will be selling the rights anytime soon, but maybe they will surprise us.

  35. BillUSA says:

    Here’s an idea…..no re-boots. I still enjoy my parents Dracula (Bela Lugosi), Frankenstein (Boris Karloff), Lone Ranger (Clayton Moore), Flash Gordon (Buster Crabbe), Superman (George Reeves) and any other hero I might have left out. Now, I know studios need to make money and I have a good grasp of how the industry works, but there is just too much of anything. That is, there are too many people doing too much of the same thing and quality suffers for it.

    The problem isn’t limited to those franchises which bomb at the box office. As much as I liked Marvel’s Iron Man and Thor, they haven’t done much with the sequels to impress me. If a Fantastic Four re-boot was needed, one should explain why the first offering was necessary. That the original was a bad movie should have been enough reason to stay away from repeating it. All it says to me is that Hollywood doesn’t respect its customers.

  36. rage_the curse says:

    Please write better its the same old movie told over and over!!! They sux I would love too see something new….

  37. harry georgatos says:

    Why can’t these studios admit that the final product released were bad films. Take the ego out of these studio executives who oversaw these turkeys and say they made a bad product. One can come up with all the analysis they want but at the end of the day FF and GENIY’S stunk as smelly bad films.

  38. Anonymous says:

    I’m actually hoping they make TOP GUN 2 since the screenwriter of that one virtually guarantees a bomb. He’s updated it with, wait for it… DRONES!

  39. eric wadsworth says:

    This article seems to ignore the essential fact that Jurassic World received largely good reviews while Terminator Genesis and Fantastic Four were both thoroughly panned. Neither Spiderman reboots were very well regarded either, particularly the second. This is that classic trope, cynical Hollywood producers, caught up in analytics and missing the forest for the trees.

  40. Dragonman says:

    Well if we learned anything from this mess then we know that by changing a character race or gender will get you a lot of talk on the Internet, but won’t bring many people to actually see the movie

    • therealeverton says:

      That’s not what we learned at all. People didn’t go because of scathing reviews and dreadful word of mouth (and let’s remember that just because ENOUGH people haven’t gone, doesn’t mean nobody went.

      You ALWAYS get the same loud, but relatively small group f people making each other feel self rightious about all the things wrong with an adaptation they haven’t seen yet. Look at X-Men Apocalypse. Despite Bryan ~SInger having directed somee of the best reviewed super hero films around AND taken X-Men to new heights with the critical and commerical leap that was Days of Future PAst, people are STILL moaning about the costumes and how things look etc. (Same on X-Men, X2 and DOFP. Even when you make a grea film, you can’t get anything right – until peopleactualy see the film.

      Fans complain and make noise, the film has to shut them up. This film wasn’t good enough to do that, the race issue is a re erring; for all we know the opening woul have een even lower without it!

  41. Paula Stiles says:

    Or maybe the lesson here is that reboots and sequels (which, as someone has already pointed out, is what Jurassic World actually is, not a reboot) are no less risky than original material. There’s nothing wrong with either one. Doing a great story more than once with a different cast and approach isn’t automatically a recipe for disaster (look at The Maltese Falcon or Biblefic like The Ten Commandments or Ben Hur). And sequels do bring in an audience that wants to see more adventures of the same cast or at least in the same fictional universe.

    But you also have to balance those out with original material. It’s like how reality TV is just another format and not a terrible thing–but it is if that’s all you put out on television. I know Hollywood is a business, but a business still needs a variety of product.

    • Jedi77 says:

      Take Star Trek for instance.
      Some of those films made good money, some made no money at all.
      And wouldn’t you know it, the Box Office results often mirror their rating on IMDB.

      Ok, often bad films make good money (Transformers), but most of the time, you can see a corrolation between audience reaction and BoxOffice.

    • therealeverton says:


  42. Bobby Digital says:

    The reboot isn’t the issue, these characters are loved by many. The problem is the movie characters aren’t the loved characters from the comics. Fox must be too ignorant to even pay attention to what Marvel studios is doing. At least Sony took the time to get educated. Fox wants to make X – Men/ Fantastic four in their own universe. You must remain closer to the source and how the hell can you screw up an ironic image of a character like Dr. Doom? Keep smoking your crack pipe fox and you’ll continue to fail. The base that would draw others to this movie aren’t there because you decided to go with artistic interpretation, instead of sticking to the source and what makes the fantastic four great. That’s why I won’t go see it and I’m glad it failed. ..

    • therealeverton says:

      Sorry but the box office for the previuus two films shows the lie to that feeling. General auddiences seek entertainment. If this film had been as well written and directed as Dark Knight, Spider-Man 2, Iron Man, Guardians of The Galaxy or #batman BBegins, it would have done just fine. Utimate Fantastic FOur fans woud certainly hae loved it; but the general audience dwarfs any comic book one and they would have enjoyed the film regartdlless of a bucnch of “changes” they knew little or nothing about. (Like Ultimate Nick Fury, Ultimate Hawkeye, MCU Quicksilver & Scarlett Witch,Ultimate Stark (mostly) and even Sci-Fi thor over actual god Thor made no difference to the general puublic at all.

  43. michael says:

    terrible casting. comic book die hards know with the Fantastic Four the Invisible Woman and the Human Torch were biologically sister and brother and white. not in this farce of a reboot casting a black guy as the Human Torch is political correctness by the studio. maybe that’s why it’s tanking in the box office and winding up a flop. $120 million budget $26.2 million N.America total. Epic fail

    • therealeverton says:

      1. Stop misusing political correctness, this is not it.
      2. Your average person didn’t care about that. Neither reviews, nor negative word of mouth is sayimg how the adoptive relationship harmed the film (to my knowledge. They should have just made them biological sinlimgs as this is perfectlly “common” in mixed race relationships.

      The film didn’t work becaase it was porly put together. The ONE thing critics agree pon, and like, is that the casting was about as good as it gets.It even says so n the above article!

      • Normandywells says:

        wrong-the casting of Torch as a black guy was a HUGE deal. The Hollywood trend of “let’s make everyone black” is being rejected (see Annie reboot that many jokingly called, “Annie, bitch!”). This is not a race issue-its a sign that the creators didn’t care about the source material. You cant just do that. Fans rebelled and it shows! The casting was wrong on many levels. These kids aren’t the right age in appearance. And they don’t have acting chops-looks like a bunch of spoiled high school actors!

      • Boe Dillard says:

        And yet I’ve read that on MANY blogs about this movie – even before it was made. Just because you want to shove your head in the sand and say it didn’t concern you, that doesn’t include everyone. No matter how much you try to shut down anyone who says it, doesn’t change the truth.

  44. nerdrage says:

    Terminator Genisys and Fantastic 4 have completely different problems.

    Terminator is a stale franchise with a plotline that really isn’t that expandable. Killer robots from the future play time travel games with humanity. There’s only so many things you can do with that before it becomes a snake eating its own tail. This franchise needs to end.

    Fantastic 4 is a great comic book property that has only been successfully realized once – The Incredibles – and since that’s not a direct adaptation, it doesn’t count. The attempts we’ve seen so far simply represent failures to understand what the story is about. The characters are a dysfunctional but likable family who happen to be superheroes doing superheroic things. Even Dr. Doom is sort of a part of the family, the black sheep.

    This franchise doesn’t need to end – it hasn’t even been properly begun! Hopefully Fox will now admit defeat and sell the rights to the characters back where they belong, with Marvel Studios. And sell all the characters who go with F4, including Galactus, The Silver Surfer, and The Skrull (so they can fight with The Kree, owned by Marvel Studios – it’s just WRONG that the Skrull and the Kree are being kept cruelly apart like this!)

    • jacobfkeller says:

      Fox can’t “sell” F4 back to Marvel, the deal stipulates they as long as they are making a film every few years, they keep the characters and profits. Worse, Fox won’t let a successful F4 film be made at Marvel after 2 misses for them, that’s just adding insult to injury for the studio. Unfortunately, the earliest the rights would revert back to Marvel would be sometime in the 2020s, but Fox will never let that happen.

      • therealeverton says:

        Fox can let the rights go back and/or they cqan give them up early for some kind of deal. Universal “leased” Hulk back to Marvel Daredevil ran out of time and Fox can clearly see MArvel has made a much better use of that character. Blade lapsed and Ghost Rider appeared to just be handed back to MArvel after SPirit of Vengeance died. Fantastic Four could be back with Marvel before Christmas IF FOx saw it was better to do that, or got smething in return – some kind of percentage of gross from the first two films they, or Silver Surfer et. are in.

        I just think with X-Men being so popular now, there’s a sideways route to getting FF back on track. With that Fox may not let go.

    • Michael says:

      We can’t call Terminator genisys a flop just yet. It’s still the grand opening for China on August 23. Right now, it made $318 million with $175 million. In China, it will probably net in another $200 million. So let’s not call Terminator a flop yet. As for Fantastic Four, I saw this film being doomed from the start. The trailer wasn’t interesting and the characters didn’t seem appealing. Most of them are unknowns except Michael B Jordan. Bottom line, Fox threw away money they were not gonna get back. When I saw this trailer, I said to myself “Next” meaning not worth my time watching.

  45. K says:

    Jurassic World was a sequel not a reboot.

  46. Anon says:

    Oh Variety writers. The usual lack of anything approaching incisive insight. And these clowns that follow the numbers.

    Audiences don’t require a ‘blisteringly original’ take on comics properties. Look at almost any example for evidence. No, they just require minimal competence. You’re not going to get that with these ridiculous directors who the studios control as puppets. I guess someone like Trank wants to blame the studio for meddling with his ‘vision.’ Problem is, he never had a vision which was any great revelation in the first place. To wit, he took the job of ‘re-imagining’ yet another tired franchise effort which (let’s not kid ourselves) all (right up to the prized Batman films, idiot fanboys) have limited artistic potential — a good sign of the scope of any given filmmaker’s actual vision, or ability as manifested as talent. And this from a man who likes to cut branding off his clothes.

    Memo to studio weasels and power brokers: stop hiring nitwits. If it has the Sundance stamp, chances are you’re playing with career amateurs, or worse — the new generation hacks (infantile come to mind) masquerading as auteurs.

    But really, how stupid of me. How could anyone in this town agree with the above statement w/o risking their ass.

    NOTE: This comment should be read as a joke.

  47. nickp91 says:

    Fantastic Four is essentially this generation’s Batman & Robin

  48. Steve Sabol says:

    Dark and Edgy™ worked for Batman. Doesn’t mean it will work for everything.

  49. Righteousness says:

    This wasn’t the Fantastic Four. It was a pastiche of it

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