To quote the great Muhammad Ali: “It ain’t bragging if you can back it up”. And 20th Century Fox certainly backed it up in 2014. “It” being the dumptruck they backed up to the bank to offload the crazy amounts of box-office money they made around the world last year. Fox officially announced yesterday (via ComingSoon) that helped along by such big earners as X-Men: Days of Future Past ($748 million internationally) and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes ($709 million internationally) – which was their 9th and 10th biggest earning movies of all time – the studio had broken the industry record with a massive $5.5 billion haul for 2014, beating the previous high by more than $500 million!
That’s an incredibly impressive achievement, and something that Fox will most definitely look to replicate, as Paul Hanneman and Tomas Jegeus, Fox’s co-presidents of worldwide theatrical marketing and distribution, explained:
“This was a remarkable year for our studio, thanks to the talent of our filmmakers and our teams’ incredible work ethic, devotion and spirit. We are all very proud of this success, and look forward to an even brighter 2015 and beyond.”
And it’s that “beyond” part that the studio revealed their plans for (again via ComingSoon), as they also unveiled the release dates of several potential box office champions. The most high profile of which is undoubtedly the long-in-development Gambit, a spinoff from their uber-successful X-Men franchise that will see extremely bankable star Channing Tatum headlining as the titular fan-favourite card-tossing Cajun mutant. Tatum petitioned for the role for ages and was finally attached to the part officially last year, but now the production has become official official, as Fox has pegged it for an October 7, 2016 release.
Also on the *cough* cards, is Assassin’s Creed, the Michael Fassbender headlined adaptation of Ubisoft’s incredibly popular video-game franchise. We’ve been hearing about Assassins Creed for a very long time now, with it almost looking like it had been shelved at one stage, but as Fassbender updated late last year, things were finally in motion now that they had locked in a director in Justin Kurzel and were actively working on the script. And all that work has now been given a deadline of December 21, 2016. Merry Christmas, assassins!
Meanwhile, Fox’s other Marvel Comics-based superhero franchise, Fantastic Four, is getting rebooted later this year. Due to some iffy comments from the cast, and the filmmakers taking more licence with the source material than an Eastern Cape traffic cop just before Christmas, fans haven’t exactly responded well to what they’ve seen thus far, but that hadn’t stopped Fox from announcing a sequel already. That sequel had originally been scheduled for June 2, 2017, and was then delayed by a month to July 14, 2017. But now it’s been moved back to almost its exact earlier slot of June 9, 2017.
The reason for this schedule yo-yo is actually as a result of some monkeying around. Well, aping around. The still untitled third Planet of the Apes movie was originally pegged for summer 2016, but has now been pushed back to July 14, 2017 (the date previously occupied by Fantastic Four 2), giving director Matt Reeves and co an extra year to work on their highly anticipated sequel. Based on how incredible Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was, I’m a little disappointed that I have to wait an extra year for the next installment in this incredible franchise. Though seeing as how they’ve yet to put a single foot wrong on the previous two movies, I’m more than willing to wait if it means another bout of awesomeness.
So which of the big films in Fox’s stable are you looking forward to the most, or are you still shaking your fists at the heavens at the fact that Channing Tatum really is going to be Gambit on-screen?
Last Updated: January 7, 2015