Not every Marvel movie is box office gold. Of course, the X-Men have been outside the main Marvel and Disney MCU for decades. Even so, not even all the advance rumours and doom-mongering could have predicted how badly the last-ever release in the 20th Century Fox franchise would perform. With all the main stars returning and the prospect of seeing 19 years of films wrapped up, it should have been a major box office draw. Instead, it just broke the worst possible record.
Dark Phoenix posted a shockingly low opening weekend in the US, at just $32million. This is, by far, the worst in the franchise’s history.
The much-maligned The Wolverine took $53million in 2013, while Deadpool raked in a whopping $132 in 2016.
International results were a little better, bringing in an extra $104million, but there is still major trouble on the horizon with enormous losses being predicted.
The film went through hugely expensive reshoots following the main shoot being wrapped two years ago. This has pushed the budget to $200million, with marketing costs typical the same again.
Furthermore, studios only receive a percentage of ticket sales and the film is now predicted to lose around $100million.
Reshoots are often a sign of a troubled production, but these were also caused by reported similarities between the movie’s original Kree storyline and ending and that of Captain Marvel.
With Marvel and Disney purchasing Fox, it appears Dark Phoenix had to rewrite its finale to avoid clashing with Disney’s priority movie.
There were also reports Dark Phoenix was shuffled in schedules to make way for Akita: Battle Angel. Ironic, since that was also a notoriously expensive flop.
There was also outcry when a huge plot twist from Dark Phoenix was revealed in a trailer. It was defended as being a way to show how dramatic and daring the movie would be. Instead, it riled fans and appeared to be a desperate sign of an attention grab to mask failing confidence in the movie.
The dreadful reviews were the final nail in the coffin, with the movie sitting at a 23% aggregate on Rotten Tomatoes, despite a much more positive fan response.
DARK PHOENIX IS OUT NOW IN CINEMAS