It was only fitting that after enduring a tortured production that saw it sit on the shelf for years being continuously shuffled around the release calendar, The New Mutants eventually made it into theaters right in the midst of a global pandemic, instantly torpedoing any chance that the X-Men spinoff had at putting a dent in the box office.
Fox’s 20 years at the helm of the mutant franchise ended with a whimper, after Josh Boone’s horror-tinged comic book adaptation made less than $50 million globally, while reviews were unenthusiastic to say the least. The filmmaker may have claimed that his preferred vision for the movie was the one that escaped purgatory, but a brief 95-minute running time, a 35% score on Rotten Tomatoes and the sheer volume of plot and character beats either rushed through or completely dropped would signal otherwise, or at least you’d hope so.
The New Mutants did manage to top the domestic box office when it debuted in August of last year, before going on to become something of a sleeper hit on VOD, but it’ll be interesting to see how the 20th Century Fox and Marvel production fares when it comes to streaming next month, given that it’s coming to Warner Bros.’ HBO Max on April 10th.
You might be wondering why it isn’t going to either Hulu or Disney Plus seeing as the Mouse House technically owns the property, but back in 2012, long before the streaming wars heated up and the idea of Disney buying Fox would have sounded ludicrous, the two studios agreed a ten-year streaming agreement for first-run TV rights which doesn’t expire until next year, which is presumably when The New Mutants will disappear from HBO Max and move elsewhere.