Disney Reportedly Ignored Dark Phoenix After Firing Fox Marketing Team

It's no secret that Dark Phoenix proved to be a major disappointment, both as the final installment in the X-Men movie franchise and as the first Marvel movie from 20th Century Fox released after the Disney acquisition. But according to a new report, the new owners did not do the film any favors in their promotional blitz.

According to a report from Variety, Disney cut at least $50 million from the marketing and development budget for 20th Century Fox. And after the flops of Stuber, The Art of Racing in the Rain, Dark Phoenix, and other Fox films, Disney had merit to completely retool the studio — even though they might not have positioned the films for success.

The report from Variety states that Disney actually ignored the X-Men movie after the acquisition, in addition to firing the team who were familiar with the film and were responsible for marketing it. According to an insider, the film's sole premiere event in Los Angeles was conducted with the intention of controlling expenditures, which annoyed the filmmakers of Dark Phoenix.

Of course, Dark Phoenix had the cards stacked against it almost immediately. The film is confused by many as a remake of arguably the worst mutant movie in X-Men: The Last Stand. It had been delayed twice, partially due to extensive reshoots after the film's third act required a major overhaul. And the film's main villains, intended to be the Skurlls, had to be removed from the film entirely.

After the film's disappointing box office tacked onto other lackluster Fox movie performances, Disney CEO Bob Iger explained that they were making drastic changes the studio's slate for the future.

"The Fox studio performance was well below where it had been and well below where we’d hoped it would be when we made the acquisition," Iger explained in an earnings call, adding that the new plan would be to "consolidate and to cut back on the number of [Fox] releases so as to focus on the kind of release that we hope would come out of that studio."


While the Marvel movies will be unaffected now that the X-Men, Deadpool, and Fantastic Four are under the purview of Kevin Feige, there are questions about the future of Fox movies and franchises like Predator, Alien, and Avatar.

Dark Phoenix will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on September 17th.