‘X-Men: Dark Phoenix’ bombed at the box office, how long until Marvel reboots?

Imax's "Superpower Dogs" World Premiere Presented By Mars Pet Care

For several years, I was an apologist for the rebooted, vintage-flavor X-Men, starring Michael Fassbender as Magneto and James McAvoy as Professor X. I still say that X-Men: First Class was a really good film, and an outstanding way to reboot the franchise with new people and a new energy. Unfortunately, they ruined it all. And now the stand-alone X-Men franchise is a thing of the past – it will be folded into the current Marvel Comics Universe at Disney, and the last movie from 20th Century Fox, X-Men: Dark Phoenix, bombed in its opening weekend.

Dark Phoenix failed to rise at the North American box office over the weekend, where the superhero installment was beaten out by the animated offering The Secret Life of Pets 2. Overall, it wasn’t a high-earning frame at the nationwide box office, although the specialty box office proved lucrative for Mindy Kaling’s Late Night.

Dark Phoenix bombed with $33 million in stateside ticket sales on 3,721 screens, becoming the lowest-earning debut for an X-Men film ever. Previously, 2013’s The Wolverine was the lowest-opening X-Men title, with a bow of $53.1 million. The last X-Men movie, 2016’s Apocalypse, opened to $65 million. Dark Phoenix, which is the supposed end of a 19-year-long X-men franchise, currently sits at a 22 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with a B- CinemaScore. The audience was largely male (57 percent), with 56 percent of moviegoers falling between 18 to 34 years old.

Elsewhere, box office holdover Godzilla: King of Monsters sits at $78.6 million after its second weekend domestically, where it dropped 67 percent to gross $15.5 million over the three days. The latest installment in Warner Bros. and Legendary’s kaiju franchise is heavily underperforming at the North American box office, with Warner Bros. picture group chairman Toby Emmerich saying that it is likely that the series’ next film, Godzilla vs. Kong, will be pushed back off of its March 2020 release date.

[From The Hollywood Reporter]

Honestly, I was surprised that Godzilla even made that much, it looked like an utter trainwreck. So did Dark Phoenix, to be fair, and now I feel sorry for Sophie Turner a little bit. She has always been an underwhelming choice for Jean Grey, and now her legacy in the franchise is this utter turd. Oh well. As for the future of the X-Men franchise, I still say that within five years, Marvel Studios will have probably greenlighted a massive reboot AGAIN and they’ll pretend all of the previous films didn’t exist.

Imax's "Superpower Dogs" World Premiere Presented By Mars Pet Care

Imax's "Superpower Dogs" World Premiere Presented By Mars Pet Care

Photos courtesy of 20th Century Fox/Dark Phoenix.

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65 Responses to “‘X-Men: Dark Phoenix’ bombed at the box office, how long until Marvel reboots?”

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  1. Lightpurple says:

    The MCU will pretend the previous X-Men films didn’t exist because they weren’t under the MCU umbrella and aren’t interconnected with the films and storylines in the MCU. Rumors are that only Ryan Reynolds’s Deadpool will be retained and the rest of the characters will be recast and reworked so their stories intersect with those in the MCU.

    • Mia4s says:

      Yeah anyone who expects to see anyone from the Fox movies outside of Reynolds is going to be horribly disappointed. It will be a few years before you see the XMen and when you do, it will be all new faces. End of story.

    • Snazzy says:

      It’s too bad though – i thought the Fassbender – McCavoy casting was genius. Both could have done so much more with those roles if they’d had better stories to tell

      • Dee Kay says:

        Agree. Fassbender and McAvoy were perfect picks, there just wasn’t any writing or direction or creative vision to give them a chance to shine. I feel the same about Henry Cavill as Superman. Great casting, terrible franchises.

      • Snazzy says:

        @dee Totally agree about Cavill as well!! He could have been a wonderful Superman

      • The Recluse says:

        Fassbender and McAvoy were my prime reasons for watching these films. They were so much better than their material. I wish that they could keep them and get better writers.

  2. Grant says:

    Dark Phoenix flopping didn’t have anything to do with Sophie Turner and everything to do with the terrible script and soporific plot.

    • Clare says:

      You think so? Personally I feel like her media presence is so very over-saturated, that I would struggle to believe her in ANY role. A bit like Tom Cruise, where no matter what role he is playing, all I see is Mr Scientology.

      • DS9 says:

        But there are still a ton of people who don’t watch GoT.

        There are still plenty of people who don’t know who most of the GoT cast or recognize them from memes, not ability or role

      • Grant says:

        I don’t think anyone hated Dark Phoenix because of Sophie Turner. She was fine. I think she was really trying with the terrible script that she was giving. The movie was just one giant nothingburger IMO. I haven’t really noticed any Sophie Turner oversaturation. If anything, the small moments I remember of Sophie, she’s actually been quite endearing (for example, when they put her up on the jumbotron at a basketball game and she chugged wine and dabbed).

    • Kim says:

      I love sophie Turner, even loved her doing the audio book for that mortal instruments book!

      Her Jean wasn’t the best. Her accent did distract from an already horribly written franchise. I think she can move on from these crap movies for the better.

      I stopped with the bryan singer movies and tv shows, even if they stop giving him public credit, for obvious reasons. . .

  3. HeyThere! says:

    Sophie Turner will be just fine. I feel like the biggest issue is when you have a kids movie, you bring the ENTIRE family. That equals double, or more, ticket sales automatically! I love kids movies and those types of movies will always dominate. Plus, anything following endgame will seem weak. They just set all these records. Just don’t open your movie at the same time as a kids movie.

    • Eliza says:

      Sophie will be fine. But this movie did “bomb” and families can’t save it. It will be the only xmen movie not to cross $100m in USA, and is tracking poorly in foreign markets too which is wear they normally pick up ticket sales slumps. Before marketing and promotion the movie cost over $200m to make so yeah it’s the largest failure of the franchise. That didn’t rest on Sophies shoulders though.

      • Megan says:

        If New Mutants ever gets released I suspect it will fail to cross the $100 million mark as well. The trailer is a hot mess.

    • FHMom says:

      But this was a kids’ movie, also. My family was really looking forward to seeing this, but since the reviews were so bad, I will wait for video release. We are now waiting for Spider-Man.

      • HeyThere! says:

        This is PG 13 and looked kind of scary if you were a kid. I wouldn’t take a 4 year old to this, but I would take them to Secret Life of Pets 2.

    • Mia4s says:

      Ironically that opening number for Secret Life of Pets 2 is pretty terrible too. After Avengers, only Aladdin has broken out with families and has been a smash hit.

      • Becks1 says:

        I think Aladdin benefited from being better than people expected. I went into it with low expectations, and REALLY liked it, so I have been telling everyone to go see it. I think people were vaguely interested in seeing Will Smith as the genie, and once word got out that it was actually good, people showed up. I think its been a while since we’ve seen word of mouth (or reviews, etc_) really boost a movie like that.

      • Mia4s says:

        I agree. I was among those joking about the first look at Will Smith, but I ended up seeing it and enjoyed the hell out of it. Really sweet movie! And Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott deserve big things.

  4. deezee says:

    I saw it. It was fine. You just have to ignore the fact that its set in the 90s and James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender should basically be Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan at this point. Really you needed to throw logic out the window and go to be entertained and it was entertaining enough. Meh

    BTW, the audience I saw it with (about 30 people in a theatre for 300) was 80% female.

  5. Incredulous says:

    It probably wasn’t helped by no Hugh Jackman, either. (Assuming he’s not a secret cameo.)

    • Eliza says:

      Hugh definitely would bring crowds, he’s a professional and enthusiastic. But I think you could tell all the “old” actors were done. JLaw couldn’t run away fast enough away from promotion. Who wants to see a movie where the actors who built this arm of the franchise are phoning it in because they’re bored with the character and material?

  6. Red Snapper says:

    Too bad. I’m hoping to one day discover what happened to Batman’s parents.

  7. Lucy says:

    I feel bad for Sophie too, but I’m sure she’ll be fine. I just hope people don’t go blaming her for the movie flopping.

  8. lily says:

    Sophie Turner will be fine. She just needs to think her next movie career step carefully, but at the end of the day she is Sansa! James McAvoy and Jeniffer Lawrence will be fine too, James has been making great career choices and he has been showing a wide range of performing. JLaw has charisma and she is going to interrupt her break to work again. Jessica has been receiving the worst critics for her role here, but she couldn’t do much with a poorly writing part. The one with big troubles is Fassbender, is his 5 or 6 flop in line, and no matter some reviews said he is the best part of the movie, he is became box office poison for his bad career choices. It is sad because he is a great actor, like few nowadays. He needs to fire his agent and PR team asap and start to taking his career seriously if he wants to keep working. Stop the shenanigans (nobody cares or buy) is a good idea too. The racing career is just a midlife rich man hobby.

    The main issue with DP is the scrip, poorly written.

  9. Jane says:

    Saw it this weekend. Sophie Turner wasn’t bad but Jean Grey is supposed to be taller and lankier. Plus the guy who played Hank should have been cyclops bc actual cyclops looked like a teenager and it was awakened watching a teenager chase after a grown woman. James McAvoy was the best part of the film and Jennifer Lawrence always does very well as Mystique. The writing was a bit slow paced and cliche but with a stronger cast ensemble it would have worked. The casting just looked like a bunch of misfits thrown together

    • Erinn says:

      Which is funny because the cyclops guy is the same age as Sophie.

    • HMC says:

      And Wolverine, in the comics, is 5 feet 3 inches tall and very bulky.

    • Naddie says:

      Funny, I always think of Jean as a curvy, not so tall woman ( basically an 8 centimeters taller Black Widow), which made me think she was miscasted unless it’s a teenage version of Jean.

    • madthinking says:

      Sophie Turner is 5’9-10″ How tall is Jean Grey supposed to be? I see the lanky part sort of, but don’t get it. Jackman did well with Wolverine and Wolverine is supposed to be short so don’t think that is a problem. Still I’m curious, and if they made Sophie look short how did they do that. In Game of Thrones she always looked like a giant, especially next to Kit and Maisie who are on the short side.

      • Naddie says:

        Jean is 5’6, not tall at all. And definetely not lanky, she’s more like bombshell.

    • hal says:

      I guess we are so used to Hollywood men having younger love interests that two actors who are literally the exact same age (Sophie Turner and Tye Sheridan) look “awkward” together. Personally, they both looked like college kids (which makes sense since they are college aged) to me. My two friends who saw it with me actually had a discussion about how refreshing it was to see a movie with an age appropriate couple when we were recapping after the show.

      • Amy says:

        Yeah, I didn’t think they looked awkward together at all. I’m a comic fan but don’t typically tune in for the movies. Got dragged to this one without knowing the younger actors and figured that the ones playing Jean and Cyclops were both around “college age.” Googled the cast later and it turns out I was right.

        We are so used to seeing movies where the guy couples up with a significantly younger girl, maybe that’s why same age couples look “weird” to some people on screen. They ARE sort an abominably in Hollywood.

  10. Mia4s says:

    Not a good look for Sophie Turner, but not her fault. It’s not great to be the “face” of a flop, but everyone knew this one was doomed and it is not her fault. “Stars” don’t open films anymore. She wasn’t Sansa here and no one goes to a movie because you married a Jonas brother (take notes Priyanka). Actors have to be so SO careful when they are trying to branch out. She should take a supporting role in something big and re-calibrate. She will be fine.

    Oh and note to Jessica Chastain? Don’t do favours for your friends. I’m sort of joking, but they did her dirty here!

  11. dee says:

    The series started well with First Class but everything after is a disaster. Apocalypse was abysmal. I know mcu fans are annoying with a false sense of superiority but I don’t blame anyone who is not interested in whatever fox has had to offer.
    For the record Dark Phoenix isn’t as shitty as apocalypse but that is a low bar.
    Sophie can’t carry a movie and JLaw looked done durimg the whole thing.

    • TQB says:

      “Isn’t as shitty as Apocalypse” is the most positive thing I’ve heard! I may now consider renting it.

  12. aiobhan targaryen says:

    I would give it about 5 years as well.

    X-Men should be a tv series full stop. It would be too expensive to pull off, but it should be tried over another limp movie reboot. Trying to distill the Xmen into a two hour movie has not worked in the 19 years this films have been out. (I cannot believe I just wrote that. I remember going to the theater to see the first film with friends. ugghhh). Too many characters, too many plots and personalities to go through in such a short amount of time. Plus, that wack ahole director wrote the same plot twice. He wrote the first DP with Famke and then made a worse script with Sophie. Why would you pay to see the same story twice? The animated series handled her story a lot better. If Disney cared to look for the right writers (not professional hacks who have never touched the source material) a tv show could work.

    Wolverine and Jean Grey are the most overrated of all the X-Men. Rogue (animated version, not the film version), Storm, Gambit even Jubilee were way more interesting than both those clowns.

    Jessica Chastain and Micheal Fassbender need to stop attaching themselves to these huge films because they really are starting to put a chink in their armour. Michael needs to look at Colin Farrell’s career and take notes. Hell, he should steal those notes and read them every night. This is his fourth bomb in a row.

    • Naddie says:

      Agree. It always bothered me how little screen time and importance Storm had in the movies. I’m fine with Wolverine being so praised because to me the character earned it, but Jean is basically the perfect one who has everything.

      • aiobhan targaryen says:

        Me too. Storm was either the lead or co-lead of a good chunk of the stories for years. she has a dynamic personality and an amazing back story to match her personality.

        She even ends up with Wolverine for some time on the show and the comics. he wasn’t just in love with jean the whole time. he moved on from her and on to other women.

      • DS9 says:

        I’m pissed that most of the women were sidelined in favor of Mystique, a second tier character.

        The X-Men, per the cartoon anyway, is a female heavy, comically speaking series.

        Storm with her gravitas, wisdom and maturity, was an anchoring force both at the school and in battle. Jean and Rogue also had a strong, constant presence. Mystique only showed up occasionally. But she’s usually naked so let’s hinge everything on her, right?

        And Beast was a huge miscast.

  13. DS9 says:

    I don’t hate the other films as much as others do but I do think they made some choices that made it hard for them to dig themselves out of.

    Putting Mystique front and center was a mistake. Not casting good versions of and/or using Storm, Rogue, and Gambit were all mistakes. Not using a Jean Gray throughout the series was a massive mistake. Using the dude who jacked up writing a previous Dark Phoenix to control this telling is unforgivable.

    And I’ll never forgive them for squandering Apocalypse, a big baddie on a Thanos scale.

    Sophie will be fine. Everyone knew this was a lame duck movie.

    I adore Days of Future Past. I just feel like saying that.

    • smcollins says:

      I love Days of Future Past, too! More than First Class, which I also really enjoyed. Apocalypse was just awful and I’ll probably watch Dark Phoenix when it comes out on one of the movie channels, but I have no interest in seeing it in the theater.

    • Naddie says:

      What they did to my boy Apocalypse is jail worthy. Not even a glimpse of that larger than life villain I feared as a child.

      • DS9 says:

        Oh, I was totally terrified of Apocalypse and the Sentinels when I was a kid. I was so excited to see him on screen and I loooooove Oscar Issacs.

        I was legit angry after I saw it.

        I like a lot of dork stuff but I pph X-Men almost as much as I love Star Trek and this just didn’t do it. I hope whatever comes next, sooner rather than later, does my childhood adoration justice.

  14. FF says:

    Doubt they’ll do X-Men as a team in that line up or anything near it for a long time (and I hope they skip Prof X, Magneto, Wolverine and Jean Grey entirely: they’re overdone). Just add mutants to their Avengers teams. And skip the Dark Phoenix saga entirely, as there are newer more relevant Phoenix force stories to tell.

    Introducing individual mutant characters to various character franchises, and developing them there, is a better way to go.

  15. Anitas says:

    Sophie is the worst actress of all the GOT cast – on par with Kit Harington I guess, whose film career also sort of bombed – but this was of course not down to her. She’ll be OK though. She’s beautiful and has the GOT fame, and there are always roles in Hollywood for beautiful women.

    • sid says:

      I don’t know. Her filmography is very thin considering that she is a young, tall, slim blonde woman who has been connected to a global hit TV show for 10 years and a number of her co-stars have had some pretty decent movie opportunities outside the show, even if filming the show did take a lot time. Either she has turned down a lot of offers or her mediocre acting skills have really limited what comes her way.

      • DS9 says:

        I honestly find Emilia Clarke to be weaker. She’s a decent actress I guess but she lacks a presence. None of her roles seem to leave a mark. She’s very bland.

      • Anitas says:

        Sophie is still very young and I understand she struggled with mental health during much of the filming of GOT so maybe she wanted to take it easy, I hope so. It would have been a wise decision. I think Emilia’s acting skills noticeably improved since the earlier seasons, unlike Sophie’s. And at least she has that wholesome adorableness going for her (regardless of the whole Mad Queen thing) and I think would do well in family friendly films. Whereas Sophie only really has the looks, otherwise she’s entirely bland.

      • Megan says:

        Plus Emilia looks like an entirely different person without the blonde wig.

    • Naddie says:

      Your last statement is so true but the reverse of it can be her downfall as well; there are always beautiful women for Hollywood roles, specially nowadays when new faces come up so quickly.

      • DS9 says:

        Emilia might be wholesome and adorable but she literally has made no impact on three films I’ve seen her in. Some of the parts have been rather generic, yes but Charlize played generic roles as well but there was still a spark. Scarjo as well.

        Emilia isn’t very different from Blake Lively in my book, basically easily swappable with most other actresses.

        I haven’t seen Sophie Turner in much else to judge her abilities

    • Anonposterhere says:

      I find her honestly very ordinary looking. That tall Polish-Aussie actress who did the tv series with Tom Hiddleston is striking. Margot Robbie is fairly striking. ST looks like a girl next door but without the warmth (haven’t seen her in much though). Also the comments everywhere seems to be that ST is a very wooden actor.

      • Anitas says:

        The terrible GOT wigs/hairstyles didn’t do her much favour tbh, but I think she’s always looked beautiful out of the series. I agree, she’s quite wooden. I wonder if I would’ve liked Sansa more as a character if she were played by a better actress. Even though writing was pretty bad in recent seasons, I still think someone more talented could’ve done a much better job.

      • hal says:

        Agree. I don’t mean to sound like a dick but…I struggle to see wh y some people think this girl is gonna be one of the great beauties of the next generation. She has always been a pretty girl and is def growing up to be a nice looking young lady but not to the point where I would ever consider her looks to be one of her defining attributes. I think she is very young, very tall, and blonde which people still see triple crown of beauty, but I also live in a college town and see girls her age who are just as pretty or prettier every day. IDK it is all in the eyes of the beholder in the end.

      • claire de lune says:

        I met Sophie a couple years ago, back in early 2016. She is a pretty girl but has a conventional look. Her beauty isn’t particularly moving or interesting, if that makes sense. And I do agree that she is not the most dynamic young actress currently working.

        Did strike me as a surprisingly typical teenager tho. Reminded me a lot of my then 18-year-old sister and her friends, which was nice. There’s this funny thing that happens when you meet celebs though: if they strike you as “ordinary” then any fascination you might have had with them vanishes into thin air. Like, I’m not gonna follow a girl on instagram who I know would for sure be pre-gaming with frat boys alongside my little sister and her friends if she wasn’t rich and famous. Give me Naomi Campbell doing community service in couture please!

        I met Maisie Williams at the same event. Little Miss Personality for sure! Also very, very petite.

  16. Becks1 says:

    I think Sophie will be just fine in the end. I do agree with others that she needs to pick her next few roles carefully. George Clooney is someone to look at – he tried to be a big movie star right away, it didn’t really work, so then he took some quirkier roles (O Brother…) and it helped him to move beyond being ER’s George Clooney.

    For this movie – well I don’t see superhero/comic book movies in theaters, so I wasn’t going to it anyway, but I feel like I did not see a single commercial for it. I knew it was coming out because of this site and because Sophie has mentioned it in interviews about the end of GoT, but I have not really seen the heavy promotion for it that you see for the Avengers movies. I’m sure I’m not the only one who missed the promotion for it.

  17. Amelie says:

    How popular are the X-Men though? I know there were cartoons for it in the 90s (and maybe even afterwards) but after the first initial movie who really cared about the franchise? X-Men has always felt less culturally popular than anything else by Marvel. I saw the initial first X-Men movie by Bryan Singer (yes I know that creep) long ago in high school and I don’t remember a single thing about that movie. Wasn’t interested in seeing any other after it.

    • DS9 says:

      X-Men is Marvel. This is like asking if anyone cared about Scarlet Witch or Hulk or even Iron Man in those early days.

      I would say people care about X-Men just as much as they care about most superhero franchises. Interest outside of us core fans waxes and wanes depending on how good the movies are.

      Well done X-Men movies could do just as well as Avengers movies.

  18. Andrea says:

    Fassbender keeps having bombs at the box office.

    • Anonposterhere says:

      He’s supporting character in this though. But yes, he’s had a bunch of bombs, a pity since he’s a really fab actor. Can’t pick the good scripts.

  19. Case says:

    I think it’s just a matter of when they can work X-Men into the Marvel schedule. They already have several of their next films planned out, but I’m sure X-Men will be worked into the phase after this one. These characters would be great for future Avengers films, so I’m sure they won’t pass up that opportunity.

    I really loved the original X-Men films with Hugh Jackman and Anna Paquin. These newer films lacked any heart for me.

  20. Anonposterhere says:

    Godzilla was so stupid. It had a bunch of “set pieces” to show off the monsters but nothing like Pacific Rim with a real heart and story. And Vera Famiga’s character trajectory was just *cringe*. However I like Vera and Kyle Chandler, though Millie BB’s character was kind of self-consciously inserted into the movie, like they were showcase this *child star*.

    I would not see DP even if it were for free: it looks like the same recycled story arc for Jean Grey that Famke Janssen has already done – oh, the power’s so strong she can’t control it herself and she has a dark side. Yawn. Interestingly enough it seems like it’s up to the male characters to rein her in eventually whereas dark and brooding powerful male characters like Batman or whatever find their own way through the, you guessed it, hero’s journey story arc.