The box office projections didn’t bode well for X-Men: Dark Phoenix, and sure enough, the film’s opening weekend figures make it all too clear that the decades-spanning mutant series is ending on its biggest bomb.
On a domestic level, Simon Kinberg’s directorial debut is estimated to have taken in a wince-inducing $33.0 million. To put this figure into perspective, the recent Shazam! grossed $53.5 million in its first three days, and Captain Marvel managed a whopping $153.4 million and neither had a budget as high as Dark Phoenix. Meanwhile, the global total currently reported for the film is a less than stellar $140 million.
Recent reports indicate that the latest X-Men movie cost a hefty $200 million. To a large extent, this number can be seen as a reflection of the film’s extensive reshoots, which apparently involved reworking the third act for a completely different location. In the last week, Dark Phoenix’s bad buzz was made worse by a wave of negative reviews. At the time of writing, the flick holds a Rotten Tomatoes score of 22% based on 233 reviews, making it the most critically panned entry in the franchise (even the infamous X-Men Origins: Wolverine sits at 37%).
All in all, the developments of these past few days will only help fuel the popular narrative that the franchise is overdue for a reboot. Mind you, comments earlier this year from Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige indicate that it could be another five years before the mutant team joins the MCU, but given the widespread feeling of X-Men fatigue among filmgoers, it may not be the worst idea to give the property a rest for a while.
In any case, now that Dark Phoenix is out in theaters, Fox’s X-Men universe still has one entry left in the form of The New Mutants, which is scheduled for release on April 3rd, 2020