Title: The New Mutants
Directed By: Josh Boone
Written By: Josh Boone, Knate Lee
Release Date: August 28, 2020
Domestic Distributor: 20th Century Studios
Cast: Anya Taylor-Joy, Maisie Williams, Charlie Heaton, Henry Zaga, Blu Hunt, Alice Braga, Happy Anderson
Genre: Action, Horror, Mystery
Box Office Information
- Budget: $67 Million
- Financed by: 20th Century Studios
- Domestic Box Office Gross: $23,852,659
- Overseas Box Office Gross: $23,143,417
Held in a secret facility against their will, five young mutants fight to free themselves from the sins of their past.
Spending their days in captivity exploring and developing their newfound powers – it is not long before they start experiencing horrifying hallucinations.
Based on the Marvel Comics title of the same name, The New Mutants is the thirteenth and final installment of the acclaimed X-Men franchise, and only the second to bomb at the box office after X-Men: Dark Phoenix.
The New Mutants was delayed a total of four times and finally released in U.S. theatres on August 28, 2020. 20th Century Studios (and Disney) were likely ruing that decision – given that the pandemic had by this time shuttered 28% of theatres and capacities had been reduced. Commentators at the time described the film as being cursed.
The original release date of April 13, 2018, was pushed back, firstly, to avoid the Deadpool 2 (2018) release, and then again to avoid the Dark Phoenix (2019). The subsequent acquisition of 21st Century Fox by Disney meant further rescheduling.
The film was however guaranteed a theatrical release as this has been built into the contracts.
The New Mutants Box Office Numbers
The New Mutants box office was not so impressive – taking $23,852,659 domestically and grossing $46,996,076 worldwide – eventually ranking 11th domestically for 2020.
The film played to some 2,412 theatres (approx. 62% of theatres were open at the time) in its opening weekend and grossed $7,037,017 (29.5% of total gross) with an average theatre gross of $2,917. This was significantly less than the $20 million that had originally been tracked prior to the COVID-19 pandemic – remembering that theatres were operating at 25-50% of capacity.
Ranking first in its opening weekend the movie then slumped to second (behind newly released Tenet) and held onto this for the next five weekends with an average weekend gross of $2,364,627. The film briefly held third in its seventh weekend grossing out at just over $1 million.
The New Mutants was released day-and-date with the U.S. to a total of 30 countries internationally and took just under $3 million in its opening weekend. The main markets were France ($1,100,000), the United Kingdom ($908,066), Mexico ($551,053), and Russia ($503,572).
It’s a Wrap
The film was poorly received by audiences on the whole scoring only 35% on the Tomatometer with an audience score of 56%.
Described by Clarisse Loughrey as the franchise’s unceremonious swansong:
Josh Boone’s film tramples over its own comic book credentials in order to chase after a concept already more convincingly dealt with elsewhere.
It didn’t take much convincing for Disney to officially retire the franchise.
The New Mutants was a loss for Disney – despite the fact that they had only picked up the marketing costs (with 20th Century writing down the hefty production budget).
Grossing out as the worst-performing DC/Marvel movie ever made – big questions remain around the constant scheduling changes and an end-game that resulted in dropping the movie into whatever theatres were open at the time.
Was the Mouse House rattled?
Not really. But it did mark a sad end to the once all-powerful X-Men franchise.