Dark Phoenix was not the X-Men movie that moviegoers were looking forward to: Critics showed that with a 22% Rotten Tomatoes score, while audiences demonstrated that both in exits (B- CinemaScore, lowest ever for the franchise, and an awful 69% positive on PostTrak) and with their wallets, only spending $33M stateside, the lowest debut ever for the Fox/Marvel mutant franchise.
Even though Dark Phoenix is the No. 1 winner around the globe with $140M –down substantially from the worldwide launches of X-Men: Days of Future Past ($262.9M), Logan ($247.4M) and X-Men: Apocalypse ($166.6M), finance experts tell us that the tale of Jean Grey will burn out with an estimated $100M-$120M loss after ancillaries, off a combined production and P&A estimated cost of $350M+ (which includes reshoots). Final global B.O. is projected at $300M-$325M, with one film finance suit telling us “If it drops like a stone, $285M. Don’t forget it was a holiday in China, and even that was pretty low ($45.7M).”
There’s a lot of finger-pointing to go around here, much of it falling on Fox, not new gargantuan parent Disney. It was Fox, in the end, that orphaned the finale of this once prized franchise to the Disney merger.
Much of Dark Phoenix‘s failure comes off the stench of 2016’s X-Men: