Disney Blames Dark Phoenix for Lukewarm Q3 Earnings

The Walt Disney Company didn't have its best quarter on record, falling $700 million short in projected revenues. During a corporate earnings call earlier in the day, one Disney executive partially placed the blame on underperforming films in 20th Century Fox's release, including the Simon Kinberg-directed Dark Phoenix.

”[The Fox] film studio had an operating loss in the third quarter of about $170 million which was driven by the underperformance of theatrical titles including ‘Dark Phoenix,’ marketing for future releases, and development expenses,” Disney CFO Christine McCarthy said during the call.

Serving as the final film in 20th Century's X-Men franchise, Dark Phoenix bombed both critically and commercially, grossing just over $252m worldwide, including a measly $65.77m domestically. The film wasn't received well by critics either, with it notching a 23 percent Rotten rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The review-aggregating site says the movie "ends an era of the X-Men franchise by taking a second stab at adapting a classic comics arc - with deeply disappointing results."

McCarthy did make sure to point out, however, that the entire slate under the Walt Disney Studios banners had either performed admirably or are in the process of having monstrous box office runs. Those movies include the likes of Avengers: Endgame, Aladdin, Toy Story 4, The Lion King, and Captain Marvel to name a few.

“On the other hand, I’ll note that the performance of the Disney film studio continues to be incredibly strong,” McCarthy said.

Disney's release slate has led to the biggest year for the studio in company history, with five full months left to go. Through July, Disney had grossed $7.67 billion at the box office, already shattering last year's record of $7.61b. A huge chunk of the money comes from Marvel Studios' Endgame, which recently dethroned Avatar as the highest-grossing film to ever hit theaters.

“A huge congratulations to the Marvel Studios and Walt Disney Studios teams, and thank you to the fans around the world who lifted Avengers: Endgame to these historic heights," Disney Studios co-chairman and chief creative officer Alan Horn shared in a statement, per The Hollywood Reporter.

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Dark Phoenix will be released digitally September 3rd ahead of a home media release on September 17th.