Fox’s X-Men franchise is one of the most commercially successful brands in the history of cinema, raking in close to $6.1 billion at the box office. However, as you’d have expected from a franchise that spanned thirteen movies, 20 years, nine directors, sequels, reboots, spinoffs and sometimes combinations of all three, the quality of the individual installments was all over the place.
The critical and financial success that greeted Days of Future Past, the Deadpool duology and Logan delivered plenty of cause for optimism that a semi-permanent creative renaissance was on the cards, but the last two outings under the Fox banner before the rights shifted to Disney were the weakest X-Men movies ever made.
Indeed, The New Mutants spent years on the shelf before landing with a thud, leading many to wonder why the studio didn’t cut their losses and release it sooner given how inessential it turned out to be. However, it was still superior to Dark Phoenix, which brought the main saga to a conclusion in the most underwhelming fashion possible.
Simon Kinberg may have been an X-Men veteran as a writer and producer, but handing him $200 million to make his directorial debut was a disastrous move. There are very few if any redeeming qualities about Dark Phoenix, and it went down in the history books as the biggest box office bomb of 2019 and the lowest-rated entry in the series on both Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.
However, it’s been performing surprisingly well on Amazon Video this week, with Looper reporting that a huge number of people are checking it out to make it one of the most-watched films on the platform in the United States.
“Before February 4, the movie was dust blowing in the wind, but now it is one of Amazon Video’s top 10 most streamed movies in the U.S.,” writes the outlet.
What’s causing this sudden surge in popularity is unclear, but it certainly takes a brave soul to actively seek out Dark Phoenix for entertainment purposes.