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'Fantastic Four' fails to draw young fans, finishes 2nd to 'Mission'

'Fantastic Four' fails to draw young fans, finishes 2nd to 'Mission'
The Thing, Johnny Storm, Dr. Reed Richards and Sue Storm couldn't strike lighting at the box office, with opening weekend estimates for "The Fantastic Four" coming in at a disappointing $29.4 million for the U.S. and Canada. (Twentieth Century Fox)

Twentieth Century Fox's "Fantastic Four" failed to draw young moviegoers and fell short of its opening weekend expectations, debuting in second place behind holdover "Mission: Impossible -- Rogue Nation."

"Fantastic Four," which cost $120 million to make, collected an estimated $26.2 million in the U.S. and Canada, a far cry from the $40 million to $50 million that had been forecast. Overseas it made $34.1 million in 43 markets.

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Audiences skewed male (60%) and older (only 51% were younger than 25). They weren't impressed with the reboot, giving it a C-minus grade, audience polling firm CinemaScore said.

"Clearly we are disappointed," said Chris Aronson, head of domestic distribution for Fox. "But I think we'll have to see how international ends up before we see where we are financially for the whole thing. It's still early in the game."

The film, which stars Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara and Jamie Bell, is a contemporary re-imagining of Marvel's original and longest-running superhero team. The previous "Fantastic Four" film, which starred a different ensemble, finished first with a $56.1-million opening weekend in 2005 despite mixed reviews.

"I would guess the combination of critical response coupled with social media response conspired to suppress our opening," Aronson said. "That being said, it's a reboot and all our filmmakers had the studio's support for this vision and the film."

Meanwhile, Paramount Pictures' latest "Mission" topped the box office for the second weekend in a row, adding $29.4 million domestically. A well-reviewed crowd-pleaser, "Rogue Nation" crossed the $100-million mark on Sunday after 10 days of release and is now at $108.7 million.

Coming in at third: the suspense thriller "The Gift," which exceeded tracking expectations with $12 million this weekend.

The film, produced by STX Entertainment and Blumhouse Productions, is a psychological thriller that follows a married couple (played by Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall) after they have a chance encounter with an acquaintance from high school (Joel Edgerton).

Audiences skewed female (53%) and older (73% were 25 or up). They gave it a solid B on CinemaScore.

This is STX Entertainment's first film on the big screen. The studio, co-founded by businessman Robert Simonds and investment firm TPG Capital last year, focuses on films with low or mid-level budgets of $20 million to $80 million. It is expected to release 12 to 15 films next year.

In fourth place, R-rated comedy "Vacation" added $9.1 million. The film has collected of $37.3 million domestically.

Disney's Marvel superhero comedy "Ant-Man" earned $7.8 million in its fourth weekend to take the fifth spot.

Sony's TriStar released "Ricki and the Flash" in about 1,600 theaters this weekend (less than half the number for "Fantastic Four"), with plans to expand in the coming weeks. The film came in at seventh place with $7 million.

The film, geared toward female audiences, follows mother and rock star Ricki Rendazzo (Meryl Streep) as she tries to reconnect with her ex-husband (Kevin Kline), daughter (Mamie Gummer, Streep's real-life daughter) and engaged son (Sebastian Stan).

"I believe opening in this manner will speak to the longevity of the film," said Rory Bruer, Sony's head of distribution. "It's a funny and poignant movie with a great ensemble cast."

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Lionsgate rolled out "Shaun the Sheep" last week. The PG-rated animated film made $4 million from Friday through Sunday and $5.6 million since it hit theaters on Wednesday.

Of the new offerings, "Shaun" had the highest CinemaScore rating of B-plus. It also nabbed a 99% positive score on Rotten Tomatoes.

The overall box office will be down about 27% compared with the same weekend a year ago, when the $65.6-million debut of Paramount's "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" and the $42.1-million second weekend of Disney's "Guardians of the Galaxy" propelled ticket sales.

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