Dark Phoenix bombs at the box office by making only $33 million domestically in its opening weekend. 2019 is the year of big finales for several pop culture touchstones, be it the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Infinity Saga, Game of Thrones, or Star Wars' Skywalker saga. Among the collection of series coming to an end was Fox's X-Men franchise, which had run for 19 years. With Disney's purchase of Fox's entertainment assets now official, the mutants will eventually be rebooted and integrated into the larger MCU.
Since this was the X-Men swan song, there was hope that it could conclude things on a high, rousing note, but that unfortunately was not the case. The film received universally poor reviews, with many critics taking issue with aspects like poorly developed character arcs and a weak story. Because the word-of-mouth was so negative, projections indicated Dark Phoenix would have the lowest debut of any X-Men film to date. That turned out to be the case, and things were worse than initially expected.
According to Box Office Mojo, Dark Phoenix tanked with $33 million in its first three days, domestically. That is by far the worst opening in the franchise, finishing well below The Wolverine's $53.1 million back in 2013. It's more than $20 million less than the original X-Men from 2000, even though there have been nearly 20 years of ticket price inflation and premium formats such as 3D. Dark Phoenix finished second for the weekend, trailing The Secret Life of Pets 2 ($47.1 million).
It goes without saying this is a disaster for Fox. While it's true Dark Phoenix was something of a lame duck from the get-go since the Disney/Fox deal made a hard reboot inevitable, everyone involved was still hoping for the film to be successful. Dark Phoenix was even one of the more expensive X-Men movies, with a budget of $200 million. Odds are, it won't turn a profit for the studio; X-Men: Apocalypse, which opened with $65.7 million in 2016, earned $543.9 million globally. That's a figure Dark Phoenix is unlikely to match or surpass, especially with how low interest was at the start. This decidedly was not a must-see cinematic event, and due to the bad reviews, it's not going to have strong legs.
Franchise tentpoles tend to be front-loaded before trailing off over the next few weekends. That's a bad sign for Dark Phoenix, since it indicates it's going to slide down the charts over the rest of June. Next weekend sees the release of Men in Black: International (another PG-13 genre film), and Toy Story 4 is also right around the corner. Pixar's latest sequel, which is already generating enthusiastic responses, is projected to break box office records with $200 million in its debut. So, Dark Phoenix is not going to stick around for much longer, ending its franchise on a rather sour note.
More: Every X-Men Movie Ranked
Source: Box Office Mojo
- X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) release date: Jun 07, 2019
- New Mutants (2020) release date: Apr 03, 2020