After suffering one of the worst box office debuts in the X-Men series, it should come as no surprise that Dark Phoenix limped across the finish line while grossing a franchise low. The film has wrapped up its theatrical run and cemented its status as the worst performing X-Men movie out of all 12 films released by 20th Century Fox.
According to the final results from Box Office Mojo, the domestic total for Dark Phoenix ended with a $65.8 million haul, less than half of The Wolverine's $132.5 million total, which is the second worse total in the franchise. Ouch.
Worldwide, the numbers are much closer, but as far as consolation prizes go that's still pretty terrible. Dark Phoenix made $252.4 million across the globe, but that's still a healthy distance behind the second worst gross in the franchise — the original X-Men movie made $296.3 million worldwide when it released in theaters nearly 20 years ago.
Disney CFO Christine McCarthy had to answer for the company's lackluster earnings report during a conference call with investors, and she blamed the performance of 20th Century Fox films including Dark Phoenix. The company also revealed that they'll be working on the studio's strategy as it moves forward under the Disney umbrella.
”[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,” McCarthy explained on the call.
There is a question of whether or not Disney put the film's best foot forward during the promotional blitz, as a new report indicates that the company effectively cut the marketing budget for Dark Phoenix and fired the team most familiar with the film before advertising could pick up.
Dark Phoenix writer and director Simon Kinberg has not absolved himself from blame, however.
"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. So that's on me," Kinberg told KCRW's Kim Masters. "I loved making the movie, and I loved the people I made the movie with."4comments
Either way, this heralds a new dawn for the X-Men franchise as it now moves under the banner of Marvel Studios, where fans will undoubtedly be excited to see what comes next. But it's still a disappointing finish for the series that should be credited in helping kickstart the new age of superhero cinema.
Dark Phoenix will be available on Blu-ray and DVD on September 17th.