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'Mission: Impossible' tops box office again as 'Fantastic Four' falters

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(Read caption) 'Fantastic Four' stars Miles Teller (l.) and Michael B. Jordan (r.).

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“Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation,” the newest action film in the series starring Tom Cruise, topped the box office for the second week in a row, while the new film “Fantastic Four” placed second.

“Mission” debuted at number one domestically last week and grossed more than $29 million in the US this past week. Meanwhile, “Fantastic” grossed more than $26 million over its debut weekend. 

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“Fantastic” was the newest take on the Marvel Comics superhero story and was released by 20th Century Fox. The characters were adapted for the big screen in 2005 in “Fantastic Four” and in a 2007 sequel, “Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer,” but the movies were not well received by critics. 

The newest take stars Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, and Jamie Bell, but the film has not been liked by reviewers, either. A sequel was already scheduled for 2017, but Twentieth Century Fox may now rethink those plans. Some blogs have reported rumors that the studio could give the 2017 slot to a "Deadpool" sequel.

Meanwhile, the thriller “The Gift,” which stars Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall, and Joel Edgerton, came in third place with $12 million, and the comedy “Vacation,” which was released in July, placed fourth, with more than $9 million. The July superhero movie “Ant-Man” placed fifth, with more than $7 million.

As anyone who has been to the multiplex in the last several years knows, reboots, in which film series are restarted new actors as the same characters, are now the order of the day. In the superhero genre, we’re currently looking at the third Spider-Man series in recent years after what some viewed as the disappointing films with Andrew Garfield, 2012’s “The Amazing Spider-Man” and the 2014 movie “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.” Time will tell whether the upcoming movie with actor Tom Holland succeeds. As for other reboots, the “Terminator” science fiction films are some of the genre’s most beloved, but this summer’s “Terminator Genisys,” which brought on many new actors to portray the story's main characters, did not do well with critics or at the domestic box office. That was only one failure, though; in today’s Hollywood, the studio could conceivably try again.

But what happens when a story doesn’t work multiple times? That’s currently the case with “Fantastic Four.” The characters are some of Marvel’s most famous, though the series was canceled in 2015, which is doubtless what has kept Twentieth Century Fox trying multiple times. But even in a Hollywood where only three years will separate “Spider-Man” films with different actors, will the studio keep trying with a story after multiple failures?

We’ll see if we still get a “Fantastic” sequel in 2017.