The bad news keeps coming for “Dark Phoenix,” the Simon Kinberg-directed “X-Men” movie starring Sophie Turner, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, and Jennifer Lawrence. After tanking at the box office in its debut weekend with $33 million, the superhero tentpole dropped a huge 72.6% in its second weekend with a gross of just $9 million. That decline makes “Dark Phoenix” the unfortunate record holder for biggest second weekend drop ever for a superhero movie.
According to IndieWire’s box office expert Tom Brueggemann, “Dark Phoenix” is now destined to lose perhaps $100 million at the box office. The movie’s second weekend brings its total gross to about $52 million, and Brueggemann reports that a final gross of $65 million would be an optimistic outcome for the struggling “X-Men” tentpole. At this point, “Dark Phoenix” will have a final gross that is barely above the lowest openings in the “X-Men” franchise.
Kinberg has already admitted defeat and taken some blame for the film’s box office disaster while speaking to KCRW’s “The Business” (via EW). “It clearly is a movie that didn’t connect with audiences that didn’t see it, it didn’t connect enough with audiences that did see it,” Kinberg said. “So that’s on me.”
“Dark Phoenix” certainly wasn’t helped at the box office by good reviews. The movie boasts a 23% on Rotten Tomatoes from 307 reviews. IndieWire’s senior film critic David Ehrlich called the film a “$200 million misfire that has no reason to exist” in his D review. Fortunately for fans of the X-Men comic book characters, Disney now owns rights to the source material and can integrate superheroes like Wolverine, Storm, and more into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “Dark Phoenix” was billed as the last “X-Men” movie in the franchise that first started with Bryan Singer’s 2000 entry, so whenever the superheroes return to the big screen it will be a reset in the MCU.
Disney released “Dark Phoenix” following its merger with Fox. The film’s disastrous box office probably isn’t too much of a concern to the studio as it has two giant tentpoles set for release: “Toy Story 4,” out June 20, and July’s “The Lion King.” Both movies are expected to cross the $1 billion mark at the box office, a feat Disney-released tentpoles “Captain Marvel” and “Avengers: Endgame” have already achieved this year.
“Dark Phoenix” is now playing in theaters nationwide.