Over the weekend, Dark Phoenix came in well under its $50 million projected opening. Instead, 20th Century Fox’s final X-Men movie managed only $33 million and second place behind The Secret Life of Pets 2. That gave Dark Phoenix the lowest opening of any X-Men film. It may also be one of the biggest superhero bombs in recent memory.
According to Deadline, Dark Phoenix is estimated to lose $100 to $120 million after its final box office is tallied. The report also states that the film cost Fox around $350 million; which includes production costs, the reshoots, and the global publicity campaign. Dark Phoenix’s worldwide take is currently projected to land somewhere between $300 and $325 million. But one thing to keep in mind is that the studio splits those box office proceeds with the theaters. And China takes a much larger percentage out of American movie grosses than the other countries do.
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The report places the blame for this debacle squarely on Fox, as Dark Phoenix originally wrapped two summers ago. That was months before Fox and Disney began making a deal to merge the companies. Additionally, Deadline states that the climax wasn’t changed because of its similarities to Captain Marvel. Instead, it suggests that test audiences weren’t happy with the third act.
“The feeling from the audience in testing was that they wanted to see all the X-Men heroes fighting in the end,” noted the report. It also added that “the movie was never intended to be a summer film….It was always seen as an off-season release, and the original plan was to get out ahead of Captain Marvel and be the first female-led Marvel movie.”
While this is an embarrassing moment for Fox’s X-Men franchise, it shouldn’t hamper Marvel Studios’ eventual plans for these characters. However, perhaps an extended break between X-Men movies will be the best way forward. Marvel’s Kevin Feige has already suggested that the X-Men won’t appear in the MCU “for a very long time.” That may be for the best.
Why do you think Dark Phoenix failed to connect at the box office? Let us know in the comment section below!
Recommended Reading: X-Men: The Dark Phoenix Saga Omnibus