Last weekend, Dark Phoenix, the final X-Men movie from 20th Century Fox, debuted to a franchise low $32 million. It’s prospects this weekend are even more dismal, and it will be the first X-Men film to finish well under $100 million domestically. Director and screenwriter Simon Kinberg recently appeared on KCRW’s “The Business” to discuss Dark Phoenix. And while Kimberg is still convinced that a better release date could have helped his directorial debut, he ultimately accepted the responsibility for Dark Phoenix‘s performance.
“It clearly is a movie that didn’t connect with audiences that didn’t see it, it didn’t connect enough with audiences that did see it. So that’s on me,” said Kinberg. “I’m here, I’m saying when a movie doesn’t work, put it on me. I’m the writer-director, the movie didn’t connect with audiences, that’s on me.”
“You can’t control what’s going to happen to a movie once you let it out into the world,” added Kinberg. “I’ve had movies that have failed spectacularly, and I’ve had films that have succeeded spectacularly. I’ve been surprised in both directions. So for me, what I try to take from the wins and the losses are the lessons. And I try not to get too high or too low, because otherwise you are so dependent on something you can’t control that you can go a little crazy. I’ve seen it drive people crazy.”
Upon reflection, Kinberg couldn’t point to a single mistake that accounts for the response to Dark Phoenix. Instead, he suggested it was “a combination or pile up of challenges that this movie went through led to a really disappointing weekend.”
Kinberg also touched upon his feelings about leaving the X-Men behind.
“I’m not relieved because I do love the characters,” said Kinberg. “The process of making these movies is very difficult. I definitely feel like I’m excited to move into a space where it doesn’t have a legacy of difficulty…But I’ll be super excited to see what Marvel does with them.”
What do you think was the reason behind Dark Phoenix‘s low box office? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!
Recommended Reading: X-Men: The Dark Phoenix Saga Omnibus