Why X-Men: Dark Phoenix Failed

Toby Graves
June 11, 2019

The movie is already riding pretty lacklustre reviews, but now disappointing turnouts worldwide could spell disaster for the last movie in the current X-Men series.

After back-to-back triumphs, the series was arguably due for a disappointment - and it arrived in a big way with 2016's X-Men: Apocalypse. At this point, the film is officially the first major box-office bomb in the entire X-Men franchise.

With extensive reshoots, the film reportedly cost over $200 million to produce, not including marketing costs. This includes a subpar $45 million opening weekend in China, which should've been more because of a local holiday, and $2.3 million (Rs 16 crore) in India, where the film was up against Salman Khan's Bharat. Only three X-Men movies have grossed over $US 100 million in their opening weekends, namely Deadpool ($US 132 million), Deadpool 2 ($US 125 million) and The Last Stand ($US 102 million). Wrestling with this increasingly unstable power as well as her own personal demons, Jean spirals out of control, tearing the X-Men family apart and threatening to destroy the very fabric of our planet. The problem for Dark Phoenix, which now sits on just 23% on Rotten Tomatoes and is headed towards a deeply uninspiring box office return.

Veteran X-Men producer Simon Kinberg makes his directorial debut with Dark Phoenix in addition to producing the film with Hutch Parker, Lauren Schuler Donner and Todd Hallowell. Plus, given how many superhero movies in recent years have been successful outside of the summer movie season, there was a feeling that Dark Phoenix could join that group. Dark Phoenix is expected to be Fox's final X-Men film featuring the core X-Men cast in the cinematic universe launched by director Bryan Singer in 2000 with the Disney-Fox merger now complete.

Also starring James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Tye Sheridan, Alexandra Shipp, and Jessica Chastain, it's out now across the UK.

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