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Box office: 'Fantastic Four' stumbles in sleepy start to summer weekend

Box office: 'Fantastic Four' stumbles in sleepy start to summer weekend
Kate Mara, left, as Sue Storm, and Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm, star in "Fantastic Four." (Ben Rothstein / 20th Century Fox)

The weekend box office isn't looking too fantastic. In the waning days of summer, Fox's "Fantastic Four" has so far grossed $11.3 million, putting the poorly reviewed superhero movie on track for a $28-million weekend.

That number leaves the new movie well behind the first two "Fantastic Four" films, which each grossed more than $56 million in their opening weekends, and pits it in a tight race for first place against Paramount's "Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation," now in its second week of release.

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Despite an appealing group of young stars -- Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara and Jamie Bell -- "Fantastic Four" has failed to catch on with critics or fans. On Thursday night as bad reviews poured in, director Josh Trank tweeted and then quickly deleted a comment that seemed to imply that the studio had altered his original vision for the film.

"A year ago I had a fantastic version of this," Trank tweeted. "And it would've received great reviews. You'll probably never see it. That's reality, though."

As Fox and Paramount duke it out for No. 1, a new company making low- to mid-budget films, STX Entertainment, seems likely to slide into third place with "The Gift," a thriller written, directed by and starring Joel Edgerton. The critically praised movie, which was made for $5 million, collected $4.1 million on Friday, putting it on track for a respectable $10.9-million weekend.

In other new wide releases, Meryl Streep's rocker pic for Sony, "Ricki and the Flash," collected $2.2 million Friday, setting it up for a modest, under $7-million weekend, while Aardman Animation's "Shaun the Sheep," which Lionsgate released on Wednesday, is on pace to earn a tiny $5.5 million over the five-day period.

Twitter: @ThatRebecca

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