Could ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ Be The Most Expensive Superhero Movie?

Published 1 year ago by , Updated March 3rd, 2014 at 8:57 pm,

X Men Movies Budget Money Costs Could X Men: Days of Future Past Be The Most Expensive Superhero Movie?

When Bryan Singer (director of the original X-Men) began talking about his and Matthew Vaughn’s (director of X-Men: First Class) plans for the next mutant team-up film and namedropped “Days of Future Past” as its title and source material from Marvel Comics, he explained that Twentieth Century Fox had big plans to “broaden out the universe.” And by that he meant, dig deeper into the vast library of X-Men comics for big concepts that haven’t been explored in the series – or even the genre for that matter – and introduce connectivity between the films.

Singer described the project as “ambitious,” easily the most apt description of the X-Men: Days of Future Past production which not only brings together the casts of the original X-Men trilogy and quasi-prequel X-Men: First Class, but “fixes” some of the continuity errors caused by the less successful films (critically speaking) in the series. To do so will reportedly be very expensive.

The Wolverine hits home video on December 3rd and its worldwide theatrical run made over $400 million, making it the second-highest grossing film in the X-series. To put the number in perspective though against the other studios making Marvel Comics movies, The Wolverine’s theatrical take is only one-third the haul Marvel’s Iron Man 3, over $337 million less than The Amazing Spider-Man and less than what Thor: The Dark World has made in just a few weeks in theaters.

To compete, and more importantly, to stay relevant, Fox therefore must go big or go home with X-Men: Days of Future Past. They forfeited the Daredevil rights back to Marvel Studios to focus on the X-Men and Fantastic Four universes and Days of Future Past is a way to revitalize the brand and (re)launch a connected universe of their own. There’s are multiple exciting properties in various stages of development that may live or die based on the success of Days of Future Past, and with Fox moving its release date up to a more important May weekend, they’re banking hard on its success for the long-term future of the brand.

The need to deliver a bankable (and quality) blockbuster may be part of the reason we heard this week that Bryan Singer and co. are reassembling in Montreal for extensive reshoots. This normal part of post-production usually involves pick-up shots to fill out scenes and to make a few tweaks, but for X-Men: Days of Future Past, whoever they’re bringing back, it’s for two full weeks next month, meaning they’re adding more content to the feature.

X Men Days of Future Past cast by Gage Skidmore 1024x577 Could X Men: Days of Future Past Be The Most Expensive Superhero Movie?

Even with the film six months out after pushing its release date forward, and the fact that they’re doing major reshoots, it’s potentially a very good thing for the final product. Days of Future Past, as we continue to reiterate, has so much riding on it and such high expectations to meet, that Fox and those involved will do everything they can to make sure their vision is realized, especially considering the complexities that come with managing a massive cast with conflicting schedules. Perhaps the extra time is to shoot scenes from the script they couldn’t get certain talent together for on the same dates since scheduling principal photography was a “logistical nightmare” according to Singer.

Either way, it’s going to be quite an expense, one that the Calgary Herald claims puts it at the top of Fox’s most expensive movies ever, sitting only behind James Cameron’s Avatar - According to the New York Times, if you include marketing costs, Avatar cost half a billion dollars. According to the Wall Street Journal in an article from July, the budget of X-Men: Days of Future Past was above $200 million and it’s possible (likely, even) that it’s ballooned quite a bit beyond that (that’s also not including marketing).

X-Men: The Last Stand for instance, which was shot eight years ago, cost a reported $210 million production-wise and there’s no way X-Men: DOFP with its larger cast and shot in 3D, is less expensive. Outside of paying the film’s massive cast of stars, many of whom have Oscar nominations or wins, and constructing sets based in the future and in the ’70s, fans have yet to see where a big chunk of the money’s gone this time around – towards special effects.

We know the film finally introduces Sentinels, giant mutant-hunting robots, and combining these mechanical beasts with a large roster of characters with visually spectacular superpowers will definitely make for costly action set pieces.

The question is, is Days of Future Past more expensive than the $220 million reported budget of The Avengers or the 258 million production cost of Spider-Man 3? If it is, that would make it the most expensive superhero movie of all-time and Fox would need it to hit double the financial success of any prior film in the series. We’re living in a post-Avengers, post-Dark Knight and post-Spider-Man world, and that illusive billion dollar mark is something Fox wants to guarantee.

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The Wolverine releases hits home video December 3, 2013, X-Men: Days of Future Past on May 23, 2014. Fantastic Four opens June 19, 2015.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes for your Marvel movie & TV news!

Sources: Calgary Herald, WSJ

Follow Rob Keyes on Twitter @rob_keyes
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  1. I don’t understand the bad mouthing of Marvel studios. If you hate their movies why watch it? Without their success many studios wouldn’t be bringing more comic book characters to the screen. X-Men are the comic characters I love the most, Haven’t been happy with how Fox has been going about it, But I still want DOFP to be a HUGE success. I enjoy watching comic book movies although I’m a pro-Marvel comic book reader, I support DC comic movies and Marvel properties from other studios. I don’t believe X-Men has to be done by Marvel studios for it to be done right, X-Men and Avengers never had the same tone in the comics, why should they in the movies? I believe there can be diversity in the style of cbm’s without a drop in quality. But with the way some self proclaimed comic book fans seem to be praying for the downfall of DOFP or outright hating on Marvel studios cause in your opinion its movies are not done like a Nolan property is just sad. I got faith in Bryan Singer and the cast (except Halle Berry) to deliver.

  2. I agree with Whither Whither and tython34.

  3. Can they just bring Cyclops back through changing the timeline and events, As he is a great and powerful character but portrayed as a crybaby in the X1 & X2

  4. The first X-men movie sucked me into comics and really set the stage for the rest of the superhero movies. There have been highs and lows in the subsequent movies, but I think the core has remained strong. And then XMFC came out and I haven’t been so excited and pleased by a film in a very long time. And it was far from perfect. I think DoFP has a lot of potential, and it seems like the people behind it are doing their utmost to do it right. X-men has such heart and the source material for this iteration is so wonderfully gritty… I am breathless with anticipation. :)

  5. I really think this movie is going to succed on the Box Office, even if it turns out to be lame. Mainly because of the cast, and I hear a lot of people talking about it. There’s a lot of buzz around it.

    And, oh, they will not be faithfull to the comics. I’ve never seen, ANY movie of big mainstream super-heros, even the Marvel Studios ones, being faithful to one comic storyline in particular. The Dark Knight has the name of the Miler’s graphic novel, but is not even based on it. Just loosely based on The Long Halloween, and very, very loosely.

    I think it’s kinda impossible to make a movie prequel to every X-men before reunite them as a team, taking in count that there is so many of them. And I don’t think the X-men movies, at least X2 and First Class are superfluous with their characters AT ALL. Magneto, for example, it’s a much more human, complex, comprehensive, charming and well written villain than Loki. Actually, I don’t get all the hype around him.

    I don’t even care that the X-men don’t use the colouful outfits, and that they are not full of silly jokes like Avengers, I don’t think the Marvel movies are all that good. I liked what Singer did on X2, principally taking in count that he had a relatively low and modest budget. I’m looking foward to see a good movie, not to se a flop just to the rights get to Marvel and blablabla. And if that happens, they will have to expect a long time to make the big audience dissociate Jackman, Mckellen, Stewart and another actor’s images from their characters. If this will ever be able to happen.