This post is based on (admittedly) thin evidence, though there is a logic.
This year Fox released their latest version of Fantastic Four, which was–to put it bluntly–a box-office disaster, earning almost $167 million against at budget of at least $120 million.
At this point, to break even (typically double the production budget), which is the most that Fantastic Four can hope for at this point. There are a lot of people who hope that Marvel Studios regain the license to the characters, though this was before one of the producers, Simon Kinberg, announced that there were plans for a sequel.
Which is utter nonsense, and little more than the producer of a failed movie saving face. The proof is easy enough to see because you’ll find few companies willing to take a franchise that has already failed–and blatantly so–and pump more money into it. By way of example, Disney’s Tron: Legacy earned over $400 million on a $170 million budget while Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim earned $411 million on a $190 million budget. Most of that money was earned internationally, which was probably why Universal was so reticent about going in on a sequel with Legendary.
Both films were moderate successes, yet neither are getting sequels (though hope springs eternal for the latter).
So, two movies that were actually successful didn’t earn sequels, yet Fantastic Four, the biggest financial failure of the year, will?
Please. If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you.
So, just because the Fantastic Four belly-flopped…fantastically doesn’t necessarily mean that Marvel Studios has regained control of the franchise.
And normally, I’d agree, if it weren’t for one little thing: Marvel Comics recently announced a new series based on the Silver Surfer.
The reason I bring it up is that Marvel has a tendency to cancel series based on their characters they don’t have control of–which is what they did with the Fantastic Four. Though what most probably don’t know is that the Silver Surfer, along with characters like Doctor Doom, are part of the Fantastic Four universe.
And sure, the sales weren’t particularly good, though I suspect that Marvel would have done more to support it had they rights to the movies.
And I don’t doubt that they would have done the same for the X-Men, if it weren’t for the fact that the comic sales are strong and Wolverine is one of marquee characters.
As i said earlier, it’s pretty circumstantial, though time will tell.