The signs were pretty worrying for months before release and sure enough, Dark Phoenix failed to close out Fox’s X-Men franchise on a strong note. Critics – and fans – hated it and it seriously under-performed at the box office, with the sequel earning the lowest-opening weekend of any X-movie in the series. In fact, it’s looking like the disaster of a film also impacted Disney’s bottom line pretty hard.
Though the Mouse House had another record-breaking year in theaters, it posted a $170 million loss for its 21st Century Fox assets, which was mostly due to the aforementioned Dark Phoenix. Costing $200 million to produce (not counting marketing), it only brought in $252 million at the worldwide box office, making for a pretty disappointing end to the series and causing the studio to fall short on its earnings.
”[The Fox] film studio had an operating loss in the third quarter of about $170 million which was driven by the underperformance of theatrical titles including ‘Dark Phoenix,’ marketing for future releases, and development expenses,” Christine McCarthy, Disney’s CFO, said during an earnings call Tuesday.
According to Disney, though, they believe that they can get things all sorted out now that they have the rights to the mutants back at Marvel Studios.
“We’re all confident that we can turn around the fortunes of Fox live-action,” Disney CEO Bob Iger said.
Frankly, Dark Phoenix probably didn’t deserve to tank as badly as it did, but it’s also pretty clear that the series is in desperate need of a reboot and it seems that’s exactly what the House of Mouse has in mind for the property. When it’ll happen, we can’t say for sure just yet, but don’t expect Marvel to do anything with the X-Men until Phase 5 at the earliest.
Until then, we’ll simply have to sit back and wait, keeping our fingers crossed that when we see the mutants next, they’ll be in a lot better shape than they were in the dreadful Dark Phoenix.