ByCedric Cannon, writer at Creators.co
I know a few things..
Cedric Cannon

Josh Trank's The Fantastic Four is the film many fans are bashing without even seeing one second of footage. In today's hyper-news culture it is rare that a tentpole film would maintain such levels of secrecy eight months before release. In fact, outside of a few leaked on set photos a few months back - nothing has emerged, giving fans and critics nothing to go on.

Disregarding the "controversy" surrounding the casting, the main complaints seem to be the "Ultimate" styled take on the reboot (rumored) and Doom being a cyber-villain of some sort...at least at the outset. Some angered fans are calling for an outright boycott of the film's theatrical release in hopes that dismal box office will force Fox to allow the property to return to Disney for inclusion in the expansive Marvel Cinematic Universe of superhero films. These fans have not been paying attention.

2014 Box Office Champs!
2014 Box Office Champs!

Fox studios just ended the year with a significant claim: Box office receipts of $5.5 billion...that is record breaking! Disney/Marvel had a good year, too. With over $4 billion in box office earnings on strong showings from Captain America: Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy. However Fox's two big releases X-Men: Days of Future Past and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes are much more significant for another reason...they are both second entries in rebooted franchises that most fans had given up on.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
X men ; First Class
X men ; First Class

After Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes in 2001, most people had written off the franchise. The film made $362 million in worldwide grosses and nobody seemed to be clamoring for a sequel. The X-Men franchise stalled as well with X-Men: The Last Stand in 2006, with many blaming late directing addition Brett Ratner for a film he literally had a month of preproduction on before cameras rolled. With $459 million in worldwide box office grosses it was still labeled a franchise killer. However, in 2011, both franchises returned to the multiplex with newly updated entries.

X-Men: First Class has $353 million and Rise of the Planet of the Apes has $481 million in worldwide box office earnings to its name. Interesting enough, Ratner's film out performed the reboot, yet critically it still suffered. This year both franchises returned to the box office once again and had even greater success! [Dawn of the Planet of the Apes](movie:322904) had $709 million and [X-Men: Days Of Future Past](movie:203942) had $748 million in worldwide box office.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
X Men: Days of Future Past
X Men: Days of Future Past

How does this relate to Fantastic Four, you may ask? Well, Fox has - so far - gone 2 for 2 on reboots and FF is sure to be its third. Add to this Simon Kinberg, who has been very influential in the X-Men franchise and is the writer of DoFP is also writing Trank's film which may or may not exist in that same universe. Also sprinkle in the fact that Fox has already announced a release date for [The Fantastic Four 2](movie:1284578) in 2017 and it has got to be a clear hint that Fox has full confidence in their upcoming film.

Trank's FF budget is reportedly in the $200 million dollar range. DoFP was made for that same amount but had a much larger and more expensive cast to pay. Trank on the other hand made Chronicle for $12 million dollars and wowed fans all over the world. With nearly 16 times more money this film will probably put it all on the screen!

Fox's magic number is probably a very obtainable $450 million in worldwide money. With Marvel getting Avengers 2 and Ant-Man out of the way, [The Fantastic Four](movie:34667) has a great opportunity to get those superhero fans going into Marvel withdrawal between Ant-Man and the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 3 premiere and Guardians of the Galaxy proved that there is big money to be made at the box office in August. Another thing to note is that Fox's Fantastic Four will be the last superhero film in theaters before [Deadpool](movie:38663) (another Fox entry) debuts in February. Batman v. Superman drops in March of 2016, making it a long six months between event films for the fans. All this points to Fox actually being a much more savvy company than it is given credit for currently and if recent events say anything significant, it's that they are getting much better in their handling of franchise rebooting and Fantastic Four may very well be the sleeper hit of 2015. If it works, the calls for the Fantastic Four to return to Marvel will be a thing of the past. If it somehow doesn't, Marvel still wouldn't use the characters for years to come.

One last thing to point out: When Marvel Studios received the expired film rights to Daredevil, it was only after a deal fell through that would have allowed Fox to keep him by letting Marvel use Silver Surfer and Galactus in the MCU. Obviously Fox has greater plans for this franchise and with the potential to crossover with the X-Men there is even bigger potential for huge stories involving both teams including Annihilus, the Sh'iar, Dark Pheonix (do over) and Galactus (do over) that would rival the big events planned for the MCU.

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