The New Mutants, after literally years of waiting, has finally arrived in theaters. It becomes the first major blockbuster to get a wide release in months since most theaters in the U.S. were shut down in March. But with far more theaters opening up this weekend, Disney decided to take a chance and release the X-Men spin-off in the hopes that it can capitalize on pent-up demand. So far, the results are decent, all things considered.
Early box office tracking reveals that The New Mutants pulled in $750,000 from Thursday night previews. That is far below what a big comic book movie might usually do, but these are not normal circumstances. Most theaters are operating at reduced capacity and there is undoubtedly a hesitancy on the part of many moviegoers to rush back out to theaters. In any event, that puts it in line with tracking, which suggests the Marvel Comics adaptation will earn between $7 and $10 million on its opening weekend. It is playing on just over 2,400 screens, which is also less than a movie like this would normally get on its first weekend out.
$10 million would be outright disastrous for any other X-Men movie. And it might prove to be for this one too. However, there are many things to consider in this not-so-usual scenario. For one, director Josh Boone's horror-centric spin-off is said to be much cheaper than any other movie in the history of the franchise. Though its budget hasn't been revealed. Even so, it doesn't need to make quite as much to earn a profit. Second, with fewer new releases coming to theaters, especially blockbusters, The New Mutants can potentially benefit from longer legs, with less dropoff from week-to-week than might have been the case in previous years.
Originally, the movie was produced by 20th Century Fox several years ago as an attempt to expand the scope of the X-Men franchise. This was long before the Disney merger took place. Yet, disagreements behind the scenes with Josh Boone and the studio resulted in delays. Originally, it was supposed to hit theaters in April 2018. Once Disney inherited the project as part of the merger, they allowed Boone to come in and finish his cut. Despite rampant rumors, it's said that no reshoots ever took place. This is the movie Boone wanted to make.
Unfortunately, that movie isn't one that is winning over critics so far. As of this writing, it holds a meager 22 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. So buzz won't be helping this one too much. Though curiosity, given the movie's troubled history, might. For what it may be worth, the lowest-grossing entry in the X-Men series to date is last year's Dark Phoenix, which earned an abysmal $246 million globally, and that was with a fully-functioning global exhibition system. So that would seem to be where the goalposts are in this case. The New Mutants is in theaters now. This news comes to us via Variety.