After years, The New Mutants arrived in theaters late last month. Unfortunately, it was not the sendoff for Fox’s version of the X-Men franchise that it perhaps could have been. As the box office totals reveal after the movie’s second weekend in release, the Marvel Comics adaptation is officially a big ol’ bomb.
According to Box Office Mojo, The New Mutants earned just $2.9 million in its second weekend. Tenet took the top spot with $20.2 million. It represents the first major haul since the coronavirus shut down movie theaters in March. To date, director Josh Boone’s X-Men spin-off has earned $20.8 million globally, with $12.3 coming domestically.
All of this to say, the numbers are brutal. The film suffered a 58 percent week-to-week drop. It is unlikely to make even a sizable chunk of its budget back before it leaves theaters. While the horror-heavy film has a lower budget than most superhero movies, said to be in the $80 to $100 million range, it is still a long way from becoming remotely profitable. Instead, it will follow in the footsteps of Dark Phoenix as another bomb that Disney has to endure. The company purchased most of Fox’s media assets in a landmark, multi-billion dollar deal last year.
The question is, what might have happened had the movie opened in a normal world? Surely it would have performed better financially. But after years of delays, one has to wonder by how much. To boot, it currently holds a brutal 32 percent critical approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, to go with an equally poor 54 percent audience rating.
Here is the synopsis for The New Mutants.
“20th Century Studios in association with Marvel Entertainment presents ‘The New Mutants,’ an original horror thriller set in an isolated hospital where a group of young mutants is being held for psychiatric monitoring. When strange occurrences begin to take place, both their new mutant abilities and their friendships will be tested as they battle to try and make it out alive.”
“With most movies, you sign contracts that guarantee a theatrical release, so it needs to open to ever go digital in the first place,” Boone said previously in an interview with Collider.” We just, too, would like to see people to see it in the theater. But it needs to obviously be at the right time when it’s safe to go back.” That explains why Disney didn’t go with a release on Disney+ or a premium VOD offering.
Boone originally filmed The New Mutants under Fox as the studio was looking to expand its X-Men franchise. The studio and the filmmaker clashed, resulting in the film being shelved. Originally, it was supposed to be released in April 2018. Ultimately, Disney allowed Boone to finish the movie, per his original vision. For better or for worse.
The New Mutants is in theaters now.