Comic-book adaptation “Fantastic Four,” which opened Friday, took in $56 million during its first three days, which, if figures hold, would help end a swoon in which domestic movie revenues had been down 19 weekends in a row compared with last year.
The top 12 movies took in $141 million, up 2.25 percent from the same weekend in 2004, according to industry estimates Sunday. Numbers often drop slightly when studios release final figures Monday, but the weekend still should come in ahead of last year’s, said Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations.
Coincidentally, I just finished reading an article in Wired about the Fantastic Four’s marketing effort. This quote it telling:
Facing thousands of exhibitors in a hotel ballroom, standing on a long stage bathed in aqua lights, [studio chair] Rothman cited the average opening weekend box office gross for the four X-Men and Spider-Man movies – $85 million. “A statistic to warm your hearts,” he said. “And this summer, at long last, brings the only property in the world bigger than either X-Men or Spider-Man.”
There’s a big difference between $56 million and $85 million, so it’s hardly a runaway success. Negative reviews and an increasingly apathetic audience aren’t going to help turn it into a blockbuster.