Ok, stick with me here for a minute. I know who would put money into making a movie only to see it fail right? But let's look at everything Fox did right up to receive release of the movie.
One thing that has been bugging me lately is why did Fox even rebooted the franchise in the first place. They gave us 2 Fantastic Four movies, and for as much as they are criticized were actually some what successful movies. Fantastic Four (2005) was made for 100 Million and grossed 330 million. Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007) was made for 130 million and grossed 289 million. Granted not as much of a profit margin in the sequel, but still a success. So why did Fox reboot? Seems like the logical thing was to tweek the third one a bit and keep it going, right? What happened that made them reboot?
I don't know the details around it and I actually can't find any articles on the net that postulate this. The reboot was announced in 2009 so 2 years after ROTSS. What happened between the movies release and 2009? Well for one Marvel started making movies. Iron Man came out in 2008. Did Fox decide to wait and see what Marvel could do as a film company? I really have no idea. Again the movies made money, so to reboot based on criticism makes no sense. Also keep in mind that Logically Fox wants this movie to succeed, because at the end of the day they don't own the rights to this intellectual property, they are simply leasing it from Marvel. So they don't want to just make a film, they want it to succeed. Right?
So now let's talk about the new Fantastic Four. Again I feel they wanted it to fail and here are some of the things they did that make it seem like they wanted this.
1. They gave one of their biggest properties to an unknown entity.
Josh Trank. Look I'm not going to debate whether or not Chronicle was a good movie, but it was his only movie. A movie that was made for 12 million and grossed 126 million. That movie only made 6 million more than the budget of the Fantastic Four. The Fantastic Four should be a slam dunk. Follow the formula Marvel is using in their films, people won't think twice about it because it is a Marvel property an boom you make money. So why give it to this kid? When we live in a world where the superhero movies are becoming bigger and brighter spectacles with great stories intertwined, why did they take a chance on this kid?A kid who said from the beginning he wanted to bring his own vision to the Fantastic Four. It's not like he ever worked on a Marvel comic before he made movies. He isn't a huge name, why did he get this film, a film that Fox needs to succeed to help grantee they can keep the rights. Or was it something else?
2. The movie had a tiny budget.
The movie's budget was 120 million. And yes that sounds like a lot of money, but Rise of the Silver Surfer had a budget of 130 million in 2007 the 120 million is actually equivalent to 100 million in 2007 terms. Also the budgets of other recent superhero movies are: Days of Future Past 200 million and Age of Ultron 279 million. A movie to compare it to of course is Ant-Man at 130 million. Which leads to the unproven argument, don't put a lot of money into an unproven entity. So the argument again that is the scale. I feel what Task was going for was a much larger scale of a film then Ant-Man. The flip side is Guardians of the Galaxy (the true long shot of super hero movies) had a budget of 195 million and was a large scale movie. Point is it doesn't seem that Trask would have ever been able to execute his vision on the budget he was given. Fox didn't want this movie to succeed?
3. They seemed to do everything in their power to piss off the core audience.
I have lots of friends ask me if they should go see comic book movie X because they know I'm a huge comic book fan. So they trust my input, as I am sure lots of comic book fans experience the same thing. And I am not going to argue if the race change on Johnny Storm was a good or bad thing. I will just point out it was the first thing they did to upset the core audience. Then it came out that Trask told the cast to NOT read any FF comics to prepare for the role. He of course did this under the guise of wanting to make sure he did his own take on the FF. But fanboys hear that and we immediately expect the worse. Then leaked pictures of Doctor Doom were horrible. The last straw may have been when the previews came out and Thing had no pants and 5 fingers. What did Fox do to our ever loving blue eyed thing? WTF Fox? It was all evidence that yes, Trask did what he wanted with the property and it had nothing to do with the characters we know and love.
4. None of the cast had seen the movie before going on the press junket to promote it
Look I'm not a film maker, but I would think if you want people to get excited about your movie and have them go see it you get the people involved with the project excited first. And also you want them to go to the press ready to answer what they can about the film. One thing to do that is to let them see at least a ruff cut of the movie before sending them out to do press. Well fox didn't and there were some awkward interviews related to this movie. Like the one with the Atlanta radio station (look it up). Basically they kind of stunted the promotion of the movie in that way. Seems like a bad movie.
These are just the biggest examples in my mind, but the more we pull this project apart the more it was doomed to fail from the start. But why? I am personally at a lost other than wild speculation of wanting to get a deal with Disney/Marvel like Sony got for Spider-Man. The let the movie fail so they can save face with the public when they announce the deal. That's just wild speculation bu it's the only thing, to me, that makes sense. What do you guys think?
For more on my thoughts on the Fantastic Four Failure check out this episode of my podcast Super Hero Speak: http://media.blubrry.com/superherospeak/superherospeak.com/wp/PodCasts/SHSEp118.mp3