In a bizarre twist of fate, Josh Trank's Fantastic Four (2015) reboot won't go down as 20th Century Fox's worst-performing superhero film after all. Thanks to a quick mathematics course by Forbes' Scott Mendelson, we now know it's very likely X-Men: Dark Phoenix will go down as a bigger box office bust than the critically-panned Fant4stic.
The last of the X-Men films will likely finish its theatrical release grossing just over $250 million worldwide against a reported $200m budget. It should be noted because of an additional promotional and marketing budget and the wonders of Hollywood accounting, films generally need to at least double their budget to be considered profitable, and Dark Phoenix is finishing with less than 1.25x its production budget. Fantastic Four, on the other hand, earned $167m worldwide against a $120m budget. That means the film ended up earning 1.39x its production budget, just a bit more than the last of the 20th Century superhero flicks.
Since the film's release, Trank has been very candid about his role in the film during impromptu Q&A sessions with fans on Twitter. Even prior to its debut, news of on-set troubles surfaced, which the filmmaker directly responded to in the press tour ahead of the film.
"People are religious about comics the way people are religious about the Bible," Trank said. "But I think it's true for a lot of movies that you can take license with adapting the underlying material and you will be forgiven for it if it's good—and you will not be if it's bad."
"I made every single choice knowing that people would question it," he added. "And what better reaction than to have people then go see the movie and understand it and feel like maybe they've learned something about the world, to not question the next thing they think is going to be stupid or weird. I think that's my purpose right now in my life."
Either way, the live-action rights to both the X-Men and Fantastic Four franchise have now reverted to The Walt Disney Company and Marvel Studios, meaning the characters are set to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe sooner or later.
Which of the two films do you like more, Dark Phoenix or Fant4stic? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
X-Men: Dark Phoenix is starting to wind down its box office run while Fantastic Four (2015) is available wherever movies are sold.