With a record-breaking opening weekend (not in the good way) under their super-belts, the Fantastic Four appear to be on the fast track to the bottom of every barrel — literal and figurative — in Hollywood. It makes almost no sense how much this movie sucked (read our thoughts here). Unless, of course… *straps on a tin foil hat*

CONSPIRACY!

There’s a lot of theories and information floating around out there. Screen Rant entertains the popular notion that Marvel has been actively killing their Fantastic Four properties in an effort to sabotage the movie, while rival SlashFilm recognizes (but does not endorse) the theory that Marvel wanted the movie to tank so that they could regain the rights.

Even juicier, there’s the news from IGN that director Josh Trank tweeted and deleted some disparaging comments about studio meddling. Vulture jumped in earlier this week with a fun tidbit about Trank’s pre-release email to the cast and crew, which claimed faith in the film’s superiority as one of the best comic films ever. An “unidentified” (we’re pretty sure it was Miles Teller) cast member reportedly responded “I don’t think so.”

Here’s 4 Guesses At What Really Happened:

1. The Marvel Conspiracy Reloaded

We LOVE the idea that Marvel Studios is so eager to bloat their films with more characters that they trashed their own intellectual property to get it back. But that’s not ruthless enough for Earth’s Mightiest Vendors. More than likely, The Winter Soldier himself was inserted as a double-agent, along with Black Widow. Using the face-changing technology established in Captain America 2, the pair pretended to be Miles Teller and Kate Mara. They delivered the worst performance of either actor’s career. Presumably, Nick Fury and Phil Coulson helped complete the ruse by pretending to be Jamie Bell and Michael B Jordan. Because there’s no way those actors are really that bad.

2. The ‘Producers’ Contingency 

Sometimes, it’s all about the money. Maybe Fox legitimately thought it wouldn’t matter if their movie sucked; people will line up to hand over money for superheroes regardless, right? Sometimes, we go out of our way to watch bad movies and mock them. “With all that evidence,” Fox said, “why bother making an actually good film?” It’s a depressingly functional theory with one fatal flaw: you’re not supposed to spend $122 million making your bad movie.

3. Fox = Bullies

If The Donald says it, it must be true. Fox is out to get the good, hardworking American Dreamers of Dreams by asking them hard questions like “hey, man… why are you, a misogynistic idiot, qualified to run this country.” That bullying surely extends to visionaries like Josh Trank, who dreamed of making one of Marvel’s most beloved comic series into a moody, hormone-infused teen drama. How dare 20th Century Fox, which is owned by the same parent company as the unfairly-suddenly-good-journalists at FOX News, crush his dream?

4. Trankuilizer Shortage

Speaking of the director… there are rumors and reports that he was monstrous on set, often hiding himself inside a special tent erected around the equipment. Some might say that he’s just a crappy person, but we think there’s more to it. The director of a strangely successful found-footage superhero film, Trank could have been exposed to the Alien elements that gave his characters their powers. Inspired by his own battle with insanity and Power-Too-Great-For-One-Man, he penned the critically acclaimed Chronicle and kept his own transformation at bay with a tranquilizer cocktail injection that got too expensive for him to continue. He went off treatment and is slowly becoming the most sinister threat in Hollywood. He’s an apex predator now, and there’s no turning back.

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