It appears that the X-Men franchise is going out with a fizzle rather than a bang, with 20th Century Fox and director Simon Kinberg’s X-Men: Dark Phoenix settling for second place behind animated sequel The Secret Life of Pets 2 with a record-low opening weekend for the superhero series.
Dark Phoenix grossed just $33 million in North America across the Friday to Sunday, becoming the first instalment of the franchise not to open with $50 million or more. It’s now projected for a total domestic haul of $85 million, which would also make it the first not to hit $100 million overall.
Internationally, the film enjoyed a little better success with $107 million, although that’s from every major market except Japan. China led the way with $45.6 million, while the UK was the fifth biggest territory with $4.9 million.
Given the $200 million plus budget, production troubles, extensive reshoots and the worst reviews of any X-Men movie (that’s a series than includes X-Men Origins: Wolverine), Dark Phoenix has to go down as a major disappointment, and it seems highly unlikely at this point that the oft-delayed The New Mutants is going to offer any kind of last minute salvation for the franchise when (and if) it hits theaters next year.
X-Men: Dark Phoenix sees Simon Kinberg directing a cast that includes franchise veterans Michael Fassbender (Magneto), James McAvoy (Professor X), Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique), Nicholas Hoult (Beast), Alexandra Shipp (Storm), Sophie Turner (Jean Grey), Tye Sheridan (Cyclops), Kodi Smit-McPhee (Nightcrawler) and Evan Peters (Quicksilver) alongside new additions Kota Eberhardt (The Persian Connection) as Selene, Andrew Stehlin (Hacksaw Ridge) as Red Lotus, and Jessica Chastain (Molly’s Game) and Lamar Johnson (Kings).