original Fantastic Four movies

Fans who were planning on rewatching the Fantastic Four movies from 2005 and 2007 had better find physical copies. 20th Century Fox has removed the film from two of the world’s leading streaming sites, Amazon and iTunes. The reason isn’t malicious. They simply don’t want fans to get confused when they hopefully start to look for information on the Fantastic Four reboot that opens August 7, directed by Josh Trank. Read more about the journey of the original Fantastic Four movies below.

The Hollywood Reporter first notice and reported the news. Their source said the reason for removing the films is to not distract from the new movie, which is “seeking to establish a different tone than the previous releases.” Once the new film is available on those platforms, probably in the Fall or Winter, Fox plans on putting 2005’s Fantastic Four and 2007 sequel Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer back online.

Many will be quick to jump down the throat of Fox and liken this action to the fact Marvel Comics has all but removed the Fantastic Four from their pages. Even some of the X-Men have been taken down a notch because Fox owns the movie rights and not Marvel, and the characters have been taken out of merch (such as t-shirts bearing original Secret Wars art) that once featured the mutants. However, this is not something that’s being done out of spite. It makes absolutely smart business sense.

Here’s a scenario. Someone sees a commercial for a new Fantastic Four film on TV and heads to Google. Maybe they were unaware or forgot about the 2005 film. They get confused. They download the 2005 film, and it sucks. Will that person be heading to the theater to see the new movie? No. Fast forward six months. Another person wants to see that new Fantastic Four movie they missed in theaters and do a quick search. They find two films and click the wrong one. Fox just made money on that old movie because it shares a title with the new one.

Plus the Fantastic Four movies aren’t going totally away during this time. They’re still available to rent on disc on Netflix, buy on Amazon and air on TV. They just won’t be streaming for a few months.

There was no word on updated availability of the Roger Corman, Oley Sassone, or Arrested Development versions of the film.

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