By Paul Bond
Fantastic Four could lead to more than a $60 million write-off for 21st Century Fox, an analyst said in a research note.
The $120 million movie directed by Josh Trank earned just $26 million domestically its opening weekend.
Fox had already warned that its film studio would not make as much in the current year as it did in the prior year.
Barton Crockett, an analyst at FBR & Co., said that Fantastic Four amounts to “a negative start to Fox’s already cautious forecast for a $200 million year-over-year decline in studio segment profits in fiscal year 2016.”
Crockett had estimated the troubled film would debut at $27.7 million but it couldn’t even muster that much, a paltry figure compared with that of other movies based on Marvel superheroes.
In terms of domestic box office, the 2005 version of Fantastic Four, also distributed by Fox, opened twice as well domestically as did the new version.
The new one scored just a C– CinemaScore while the 10-year-old version got a B. At RottenTomatoes.com, the 2015 Fantastic Four received just a 9 percent fresh rating while the one from a decade earlier boasted 27 percent.
Crockett blamed Fantastic Four for leading a 30 percent decline in the weekend’s box office compared with last year for the top dozen titles.
In large part due to the poor performance of Fantastic Four over the weekend, Crockett now estimates a 4.3 percent rise in domestic box office in the third quarter, 280 basis points less than he had previously forecast.
Also not helping the overall box-office numbers this quarter is The Weinstein Co. pulling its animated Underdogs, which was to open next weekend. Crockett estimated Underdogs would see a $40 million domestic run.