‘Dark Phoenix’ bombs, could lose $100 million for Fox, Disney

Dark Phoenix is the first X-Men movie to open in theatres with less than $50 million in ticket sales on the opening weekend.

The movie earned a low of $33 million from 3,721 North American locations over the weekend for a second place finish, according to studio estimates Sunday. First place went instead to The Secret Life of Pets 2.

Directed by longtime X-Men scribe Simon Kinberg, it focuses on Jean Grey who is played by Sophie Turner fresh off of her Game of Thrones run as Sansa Stark.

It also brings back James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, and Jennifer Lawrence. It’s the de facto conclusion to the modern X-Men movies that started in 2000, and also the first major 20th Century Fox film to be released by the Walt Disney Co. following the acquisition.

But it scored even worse reviews overall than the widely disparaged X-Men: Apocalypse. Audiences who showed up seemed to concur with the critics, giving it a deadly B- CinemaScore.

Paul Dergarabedian, the senior media analyst for Comscore noted even with the lacklustre North American debut and reception, that internationally Dark Phoenix was No. 1 with $107 million from 53 territories including China. Globally, it’s earned $140 million.

“In the international marketplace, it seems like the spectacle and the brand wins out,” Dergarabedian said.

According to Variety, Dark Phoenix could end up costing Fox and Disney a large sum of money.

The publication reports that “After Dark Phoenix became the first X-Men entry to flop spectacularly at the box office, the future of the 20-year-old film franchise looks murkier. The superhero adventure misfired with a disastrous $33 million in North America, by far the worst opening for an X-Men title. Compounding matters, it cost a hefty $200 million to produce. That doesn’t even take into account the hundreds of millions in global marketing and distribution fees it incurred. It would take a miracle for Dark Phoenix to turn a profit. As it stands, box office watchers think that the film could lose $100 million.”

Many people took to Twitter to critique the X-Men film over the weekend.

Written and directed by Simon Kinberg, Dark Phoenix stars Sophie Turner, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Tye Sheridan, Alexandra Shipp, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Evan Peters and Jessica Chastain.

—With files from the Associated Press

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