Things seem to be getting even worse for Dark Phoenix at the box office. The final installment of 20th Century Fox’s X-Men movies series had the lowest opening weekend in franchise history. It was the only X-Men movie to open below first place at the box office. Now it’s suffered the biggest second-weekend dropoff for a superhero movie ever.
After opening with $33 million, the film dropped a massive 72.6 percent in its second weekend, earning just $9 million. Its current box office total is now $52 million. At this rate, its final box office gross may not top some other X-Men movies’ opening weekends.
Simon Kinberg wrote, directed, and produced Dark Phoenix. He’s willing to take the blame for the film’s failure. "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 said. "I loved making the movie, and I loved the people I made the movie with."
Speaking to ComicBook.com, Kinberg had said that he wanted Dark Phoenix to be the epic conclusion to 20 years of X-Men movies. "I approach this movie as the culmination of 20 years of storytelling, of living with the X-Men for all this time and watching this family come together, and this movie is the movie that challenged that family and tears them apart in a new way," Kinberg said. "And so I imagined it as the culmination, and I even pitched it to the studio, as this is the culmination of this cycle of X-Men stories. Which there will be more X-Men movies in the future no doubt, but this particular cycle with this cast, it felt like it was time to do kind of what Game of Thrones has done, what [Avengers:] Endgame has done, really see them challenged in a new way and sort of survive and go off into the sunset."
But the film failed to connect with critics, including ComicBook.com's own Brandon Davis, who gave it a mixed review, saying "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."