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Credit: 20th Century Fox/Marvel

Box office: Dark Phoenix disappoints with $33M

Contributed by
Jun 9, 2019

It looks like the conclusion to the live-action X-Men saga at 20th Century Fox will go out with a whimper rather than a bang at the box office. The poor and disappointed reviews from critics (it has a 22% on Rotten Tomatoes) probably aren't helping the situation.

Simon Kinberg's Dark Phoenix, which tries to undo the bad memories of X3: The Last Stand in 2006, will close out its first domestic weekend with a pitiful $33 million. That's the worst opening of the entire franchise that first kicked off almost 20 years ago; the runner-up for worst X-debut goes to 2013's The Wolverine, which took in $53 million during its first domestic weekend. Since it cost around $200 million to make, Dark Phoenix is heading toward the unenviable title of box-office bomb. Overseas, the comic book flick fared a bit better, with $107 million from 53 markets, bringing the worldwide total to $140 million.

Written and directed by Kinberg (longtime X-Men producer/writer), Dark Phoenix is a loose adaptation of the iconic and beloved 1980 Marvel storyline by Chris Claremont and John Byrne. Set in the early 1990s, the film finds a young Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) losing control of her telepathic abilities after absorbing a mysterious energy force during a rescue mission in outer space. Her turn to the "dark side" is exacerbated by the death of a fellow X-Man, the lies Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) told her as a child, and a malevolent alien (Jessica Chastain) wanting to use her newfound abilities.

Bringing back the key players of First Class, Days of Future Past, and Apocalypse, the film co-stars Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique), Michael Fassbender (Magneto), Nicholas Hoult (Beast), Tye Sheridan (Cyclops), Alexandra Shipp (Storm), Evan Peters (Quicksilver), and Kodi Smit-McPhee (Nightcrawler).

Despite technically being the end of the X-Men era at Fox (Disney now owns the IP and can fold the mutants into the MCU), Josh Boone's New Mutants movie has yet to undergo reshoots and premiere in theaters; hopefully the latter will happen in 2020. However, there is talk that the project could simply end up on the Disney+ streaming service, which launches Nov. 12.

The top spot at this weekend's domestic box office was chewed on by The Secret Life of Pets 2. With a 54% on Rotten Tomatoes, the animated comedy sequel from Universal and Illumination wasn't as well received as its predecessor, but still managed to fetch $47.11 million. Even so, that's less than half of what the first movie was able to make (over $104 million) in 2016. From foreign markets, the family-friendly follow-up has wagged its tail to the tune of $49 million, for a global gross of $97 million thus far.

Directed by Chris Renaud (he also directed the first one), the film features the all-star voice talents of Patton Oswalt (replacing Louis C.K.), Eric Stonestreet, Harrison Ford, Tiffany Haddish, Lake Bell, Pete Holmes, Jenny Slate, Dana Carvey, Kevin Hart, Ellie Kemper, Hannibal Buress, Bobby Moynihan, and Nick Kroll.

Aladdin wished its way to third place with an added $24 million during its fourth weekend in theaters. Disney's live-action remake from director Guy Ritchie (King Arthur: Legend of the Sword) now has a North American total of $232 million. Internationally, the film entered the Cave of Wonders for an additional $67.6 million, for a foreign total of $372.5 million and a worldwide total of $604 million.

Unfortunately, Mike Dougherty's Godzilla: King of the Monsters saw a major drop in ticket sales, with an extra $15.4 million during its second weekend in theaters. Compared to its $49 million debut last week, this figure represents a 68% decline in revenue for the all-out kaiju mashup from Warner Bros. and Legendary. Thankfully, the movie performed well abroad, crushing another $47 million from 78 non-domestic markets. Abroad, the giant monster picture has amassed $213.7 million; globally, that number is at $292 million.

Avengers: Endgame brought in $8.6 million from all over the world this weekend, for a current tally of $2.73 billion. While many expected it to overtake the first Avatar ($2.78 billion), its slackening pace at the global box office may keep the major MCU blockbuster from making history and becoming the highest-grossing movie of all time.

(via Variety (domestic), Variety (international) & Box Office Mojo)


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