Dark Phoenix currently has the worst Rotten Tomatoes score in the X-Men franchise. As those who have been following the property for a long time know, Fox's run of X-Men movies have had their fair share of ups and downs. Several of the installments, like X2: X-Men United, Deadpool, and Logan, were critically acclaimed and did very well at the box office. Others, like X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men: Apocalypse were underwhelming (to say the least). But despite the mixed results, the studio kept producing new entries at a steady clip and all of them were successful on a commercial level.
Nearly two decades since the original X-Men helped kick off the golden age of superhero cinema, an era is about to come to a close. With Disney's acquisition of 20th Century Fox's entertainment assets now official, the X-Men franchise will eventually be rebooted as the characters are integrated into the MCU. But first, Dark Phoenix looks to send the series off on a high note. Unfortunately, the polar opposite happened and it looks like Fox saved the worst for last.
According to Rotten Tomatoes, Dark Phoenix's score of 21% with 90 reviews counted (as of this writing) is the all-time lowest mark for the series. As a comparison, similar duds like The Last Stand, X-Men Origins - Wolverine, and Apocalypse scored 58%, 37%, and 47%, respectively. For those wondering, Logan has the highest with a strong 93%.
It's worth mentioning that there are a plethora of Dark Phoenix reviews still to be published. Deadpool 2 had 379 counted on Rotten Tomatoes and Logan had 387. So, Dark Phoenix's score is not set in stone right now. Having said that, it would take quite a turnaround for it to not end up as the lowest-rated X-Men movie on the aggregator site. It would have to improve by 16 percentage points in order to match Origins - Wolverine, which is very unlikely to happen. There's already a published Critics Consensus on the Dark Phoenix Rotten Tomatoes page (which reads as a definite reflection of its poor reception), meaning the verdict has come in. The Dark Phoenix score may fluctuate a few points (in either direction) as more reviews come in, but it will probably stay in the 20s.
This is a sad turn of events, as a landmark film franchise (the first X-Men came out two years before Sam Raimi's first Spider-Man) fizzles out instead of having a triumphant ending. Even though this was the last installment in the current Fox continuity and was something of a lame duck from the start, fans and everyone involved with the production still wanted Dark Phoenix to be a satisfying sendoff. There's no telling when the mutants will make their debut in the MCU, but hopefully when they do, the results are much better than Dark Phoenix.
Source: Rotten Tomatoes
- X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) release date: Jun 07, 2019
- New Mutants (2020) release date: Apr 03, 2020