Dark Phoenix is about to lose almost half its theater presence. The latest X-Men film is doing poorly both critically and commercially. It had the worst opening of any X-Men movie, and the lowest Rotten Tomatoes score in the series.
Dark Phoenix's failure can be attributed to a number of factors. Certainly, the Disney/Fox deal did not help build anticipation for the movie. Knowing the characters would be reverting back to Marvel likely left many viewers with little desire to see the movie in theaters. There was also the delay in release. Dark Phoenix was originally scheduled for release in November last year, but was delayed to February, and then finally June. So, audiences going to watch it after something like Avengers: Endgame probably had certain expectations. According to director Simon Kinberg, the film was made to be more "intimate" than a standard superhero movie. If Dark Phoenix had released earlier, perhaps it could have done a little better. Of course, if there was good word of mouth, the film could be doing decently right now. But, early reviews were lukewarm, and now the film sits with a critic score of 23 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
Fire extinguished. X-MEN: DARK PHOENIX will lose 1,667 theaters (-44%) in just its 3rd week of release.— Exhibitor Relations Co. (@ERCboxoffice) June 20, 2019
When a film gets pulled from theaters quickly, that usually means it is doing exceptionally poorly. The most infamous example of this was in 2015, with the release of Jem and the Holograms. After being in theaters for just two weeks, it was pulled. Dark Phoenix is obviously doing better than that, but it's nowhere near being a remote success.
With the X-Men rights back in Marvel's hands, Dark Phoenix's failure will likely just become a footnote in history for fans. Fox's X-Men franchise had its ups and downs, but should be credited for helping kick-start the era of comic book movies. The original X-Men movie was the first successful team-based superhero film, 12 years before the release of The Avengers. Fox also gave moviegoers Logan, a film that is frequently cited as one of the most compelling in the genre. Although the X-Men series has concluded, fans can still look forward to The New Mutants next year, which marks the final X-Men-related property developed by Fox.
- New Mutants (2020) release date: Apr 03, 2020