‘Fantastic Four’ Can Still Become A Cult Classic, Despite Backlash

Fantastic Four’s mission impossible was to entice audiences into summertime seats and have them leave happy. That mission was not accomplished, and Fantastic Four has become Fox’s “bad idea,” creating worldwide backlash against the film, but there’s still time to turn things around.

Fantastic Four was to be Fox’s reboot, but came off more like just the boot, kicking the studio where it counts – in the wallet. With a $120M budget, Fantastic Four is losing money for its investors. The numbers haven’t met studio execs’ expectations, but that’s not stopping them from reportedly moving forward with a Fantastic Four sequel. That will, however, stop director Josh Trank from being a part of it.

While it’s too soon to know the real reason for Fantastic Four‘s flop, it’s undeniable: Fantastic Four is not bringing home the bacon, according to Fox. Opening to a dismal $26.2M ($34.1 internationally), Fantastic Four had to bow to actual box office superhero Tom Cruise and his Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, which is leading Fantastic Four by the nose with $29.4M ($65.5 internationally).

The Hollywood Reporter reports Fantastic Four is also failing in critic class, receiving the lowest ever CinemaScore rating of C- and a 9 percent fresh rating from Rotten Tomatoes.

Though Fantastic Four opened to poor reviews, not everyone hates it, either because it wasn’t as bad as reviews made it seem, or, like Sherri Shepherd, they were able to finally get some rest.

While critics are having a field day with Fantastic Four, suggesting that Fox’s handling of the flick has hurt the franchise, as reported by Bloomberg, it is not the only movie to fall face first on opening day. Bad reviews do not make a movie bad. All the negativity surrounding Fantastic Four has placed it on a trajectory to becoming a cult classic, joining the ranks of some other projects audiences grew to love over time.

In 1983, Brian De Palma’s Scarface garnered not only shoddy reviews – critics called it “empty” and “a sadly overblown B movie” – but cultural criticism over its portrayal as Cubans as dope dealers. Hollywood hated it — it had last minute changes — and it is rumored that, like Sherri Shepherd, Dustin Hoffman fell asleep watching it. Like Fantastic Four, it opened to modest numbers, $4.5M, but over time grossed over ten times that amount, becoming a fan favorite, enjoying a 20th anniversary re-release in 2003.

Remember John Carpenter’s Halloween? Critics pounded it, calling its script “pitiful” and “amateurish.” Critics cited The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King as “an uneven movie with yawns aplenty,” labeled The Matrix “stupid,” and called Die Hard “a mess.” But over time, each of these films grew on moviegoers and found a following that supported subsequent sequels and awards. Like its predecessors in sore opening movie reviews, Fantastic Four can grow on audiences and enjoy cult movie status.

Fantastic Four is now playing at a theaters everywhere, where Marvel fans can go see it with an open mind and tempered expectations.

[Photo courtesy of FantasticFour.com]