The X-Men movie franchise has always been a bit of a roller coaster. With varying directors, all with varying visions, the Fox movies have ranged from “pretty decent” to “downright awful.” There are enough plot holes and continuity errors in the franchise to fill an Olympic size swimming pool.
Their latest entry, X-Men: Dark Phoenix, seems destined to be one of the worst — at least from a money making perspective.
The movie was panned by critics ahead of its release date, and it looks like people were listening. The movie only made $33 million domestically on it’s opening weekend, and those numbers typically drop by at least 50 percent by any film’s second weekend. With an estimated production and advertising budget of around $350 million, according to Deadline (which includes substantial re-shoots, due to it originally being planned as two movies and then being forced to cram everything into one), it looks likes Dark Phoenix could lose more than $100 million and become a certified box office bomb.
Foreign sales are helping the cause, with over $100 million in overseas box office numbers propping up the dismal North American numbers. However, it’s unlikely to recover all the way back into the black — especially with a dismal 22 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes. That will keep anyone with even a passing interest from spending their hard earned dollars on movie tickets to this train wreck.
This movie may end up going down in history as a casualty of the Fox sale to Disney. Even though filming was completed close to two years ago, the multi-billion deal that saw Disney acquire Fox’s television and movie properties pushed everything else to the back burner. The release date was even pushed back by four months, for no obvious reason — something that left fans confused and skeptical.
Basically, after the Fox/Disney deal was finalized, everyone realized that the old X-Men franchise was finished. Disney will surely re-boot the beloved comic book heroes into a new shared universe, perhaps even linking them in with the current Marvel Cinematic Universe (which has no announced direction after the conclusion of Avengers: Endgame.) Either way, even casual fans saw that as a sign to simply skip Dark Phoenix — and the numbers show that many people did just that.