Domestic total as of July 11 is $64.8 million; its worldwide take is $249.4m. Both numbers mark a series-worst for the near 20-year-old franchise.
Its summertime competitors include Pokémon Detective Pikachu (207 screens, 10 weeks), Godzilla: King of the Monsters (434 screens, seven weeks), Avengers: Endgame (1,443 screens, 12 weeks), Men in Black: International (1,612 screens, five weeks), The Secret Life of Pets 2 (2,320 screens, six weeks) and Aladdin (2,557 screens, eight weeks).
Recent openings include Toy Story 4 (4,210 screens, four weeks) and Spider-Man: Far From Home (4,634 screens since opening July 2).
Dark Phoenix opened to a tepid $32m, far below the $54m won by Bryan Singer’s franchise-launcher X-Men in 2000. Ryan Reynolds-led X-Verse spinoffs Deadpool and Deadpool 2, which opened at $132m and $125m in 2016 and 2018, respectively, hold the highest openings for the former Fox franchise now under Disney’s control.
2006’s The Last Stand — rebooted in part with Dark Phoenix, which again explores Jean Grey’s (Sophie Turner) corruption by the cosmic Phoenix Force — holds the main entry franchise best opening of $102m. 2014’s Days of Future Past is second at $90m, trailed by 2017’s Logan ($88m), the swan song that starred franchise veterans Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart.
Following is 2003’s X-Men United ($85.5m), first franchise spinoff X-Men Origins: Wolverine ($85.0m), 2016’s Apocalypse ($65m) — the ’80s-set installment first to introduce Turner’s telepathic mutant and co-stars Tye Sheridan, Alexandra Shipp, and Kodi Smit-McPhee — and 2011 prequel First Class ($55m).
The previous lowest franchise opening was held by 2013 spinoff The Wolverine, centered around Jackman’s metal-clawed mutant on an overseas adventure, which opened at $53m.
First-time director Simon Kinberg, who has acted as writer-producer on the franchise for more than a decade, has wholly accepted the blame for Phoenix failing to catch fire at the box office as part of a summer movie going season that has not been kind to even the biggest of intellectual properties.
“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. “I loved making the movie, and I loved the people I made the movie with.”
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