X-Men: Dark Phoenix is looking at a global box office weekend debut in the ballpark of $170 million. Domestically, the film is projected for about $60 million, but it could slip short of such a figure following lackluster reviews and films before it within the same franchise underperforming. If the film does meet the $170 million globally, Dark Phoenix will most likely win the weekend, beating out the animated Secret Life of Pets 2, but this all rides on Dark Phoenix managing to meet those expectations and Pets not over-performing.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine opened to a similar global figure, though it had a larger domestic number and released prior to China becoming a major player at the box office. The 2009 movie saw an $85 million haul domestically in its opening weekend. Meanwhile, its more beloved follow-up in the R-rated Logan narrowly topped the figure domestically with $88 million and would go on to nearly double the overall global haul in its entire run. Meanwhile, the more recent ensemble film X-Men: Apocalypse was also slammed critically and opened to merely $65 million, potentially damaging the level of interest in X-Men films.
Dark Phoenix is expected to be the conclusion of the X-Men franchise, somewhat limping to the finish line after production was plagued with reshoots and the Disney/Fox merger likely means the saga will be rebooted for an effort in the MCU.
"When it came time, and I said 'Listen, I really wanna direct this movie,' and I had the real support of the cast to direct the movie," Dark Phoenix director Simon Kinberg explains. "My vision for the film was a more intense, a more raw X-Men film than we'd done before. So as I said I was very clear with the studio from the beginning. I said 'Listen, this is going to push the envelope of the PG-13 X-Men movies that we've seen before. It's gonna be much more like the Dark Knight movies, or like Logan than it is gonna be like the previous X-Men films.' And I felt like it was time for a change after 20 years of making these movies, and this particular story, I think, requires an intensity to tell properly."
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X-Men: Dark Phoenix is now playing in theaters.