We all knew it already, but it’s now official. Fox has removed Fantastic Four 2 from its originally-scheduled release slot of June 9th, 2017. While there’s a chance that Fox could revisit the idea of a sequel or another reboot of some kind on down the line, for now such a notion is off the table. This comes as no shock, given how Josh Trank’s reboot was reviled by both critics and fans alike when it arrived in theaters a little over three months ago.
In addition to being met with an overall negative reception, the film also failed to impress on a financial level. Budgeted at a reported $120 million, the film failed to even reach half that domestically upon release, pulling in around $56.1 million total during its stateside run. It didn’t fair much better overseas either, grossing $111.9 million internationally for a worldwide total of almost $168 million. That’s over $120 million less than the last film based on the property, 2007’s Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, managed to pull in. Not only did Fox fail to relaunch the property, but they didn’t even come close to equally the middling success of their last two attempts at the property.
So where does that leave these characters and their theatrical chances? It’s hard to say. Fox has a few years (around 7 or so) to make up their minds, however. Will they reboot again? Perhaps, but that seems highly unlikely. Taking the property to television isn’t really an option either, as Marvel partially owns TV rights for the characters. At this point, it’s less a question of “if” Marvel will end up owning these characters again and more a question of “when”. Will Fox sit on the rights out of spite and just let them quietly lapse back to Marvel Studios in 7 years or so? Or will they go the route of Sony and cut a deal with Marvel, paving the way for the Fantastic Four (and Co.) to enter the MCU in a mutually-lucrative partnership between both studios? Only time will tell…
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