The new (and final) chapter of the X-Men movie saga, Dark Phoenix, is now in theaters, but is facing the uphill battle of trying to overcome the franchise's worst reviews ever. There's going to be a lot of scrutiny about how Dark Phoenix performs at the box office - and it's already off to a tepid start.
THR reports that Dark Phoenix pulled in $5 million at the box office on preview night (Thursday). That total is looked at as being "respectable," though it falls below what other films have pulled in, recently (John Wick 3 and Detective Pikachu pulled in $6 and $5.7 million, respectively).
The most relevant comparison is how Dark Phoenix is stacking up against other X-Men movies. The $5M haul isn't that great compared to the $8.1M that Days of Future Past earned in 2014, or the $8.2M that X-Men: Apocalypse earned in 2016. It points to a clear downturn in fan interest for this current X-Men movie franchise - though that's not going to be much of a concern for 20th Century Fox. Dark Phoenix is the official end of Fox's X-Men movie saga, before the property will be rebooted within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Perhaps it's the fact that the franchise is ending that has caused the lowered interest in Dark Phoenix, or perhaps it's the fact that the movie was plagued with troubles like delays and major reshoots, which could've thrown mainstream viewers who might've been more enthusiastic for the film back in Spring 2018, when it was originally supposed to come out. There's also the fact that Disney's acquisition of 20th Century Fox has given Marvel fans the massive excitement and hope of seeing the MCU X-Men - enthusiasm that may come at the cost of less interest or enthusiasm for climatic chapter of the franchise.
Right now X-Men: Dark Phoenix is projected to earn $170 million at the global box office on opening weekend, which isn't exactly shabby, yet also not quite as good as the the nearly $300M DoFP did, but not too far off from the nearly $200M Apocalypse pulled in.
Here's what Comicbook.com's Brandon Davis said, in his official Dark Phoenix review:
"In the end, Dark Phoenix is not the conclusion fans of the X-Men franchise might have been hoping for and it doesn’t make much of an effort to tie every narrative thread into a nice bow as the franchise is probably coming to an end here. It's a bit behind its time. Still, the movie is fun and safe movie for fans of the characters to watch in a theater with a bass-heavy sound system, and leaves the key characters well enough to remember them fondly."
Dark Phoenix is now in theaters.