Dark Phoenix hits theaters this weekend, but the final installment in the X-Men franchise may not take the top box office spot.
You heard it right. Dark Phoenix is likely not going to debut at number one at the box office. This is the last installment in the X-Men franchise from Fox, comic book movies are huge and it’s summer time. What’s the problem?
One would think obtaining the number one spot as simple. Avengers: Endgame is finally out-of-the-way, as it is no longer in the top five. The MCU’s latest film has been out for over a month now. Where is this competition coming from?
Initially, Fox anticipated an opening weekend within the $40 million to $50 million range. Unfortunately, estimates are putting Dark Phoenix around $38 million to $39 million. If these estimates are true, this will put it as the lowest opening X-Men film in the franchise. Instead, Dark Phoenix is looking to open at the number two spot. In number one, believe it or not is The Secret Life of Pets 2, which has an estimate of over $50 million and is opening in more theaters. No doubt the summer time is starting and most families are probably vying for this over an X-Men film. Plus, some may notice that the marketing has been somewhat stronger for The Secret Life of Pets 2 than Dark Phoenix.
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It is possible many comic book nerds spent a good enough chunk of cash on repeat viewings of Avengers: Endgame. They are pooped out and can sit out on the latest comic book flick. Perhaps the same can be said for general audiences, as well. They need a break from superheroes. Again, this film is not the commercial hit that Endgame was. That film had TV spots, tie-ins and buzz all around over social media. Hence, the general audience is not as aware of the film.
Sadly, the film has had its fair share of problems. The film is already getting negative reviews, the worst in the X-Men series. In fact, the reviews are even worse than those of X-Men: The Last Stand. One cannot help but feel this movie is a remake of that film. Both are adaptations of the modern Dark Phoenix storyline, in which Jean Grey basically goes evil, as opposed to Chris Claremont’s classic “Dark Phoenix Saga”, where the entity know as the Phoenix Foce takes over Jean Grey.
Last November was the film’s original release date, but it was re-scheduled to a later date, possibly stirring some people to disengage from news on the project, and seeing it. Another problem fans may already have with the film is the ending. The original ending fight was leaked, as it was revealed that it was reshot, changing the setting from space to a train.
Lastly, many Marvel fans having been knocking the X-Men franchise over Twitter, lately. You can find some even bashing classics such as X-2: X-Men United, X-Men: First Class and such. So many MCU fans are over the X-Men and ready for them to join that franchise. This leads to one last and disillusioning point. It’s safe to say this film will have no post-credits sequence. And why might that be?
This is the last X-Men film under Fox. Disney finally has all the film rights to all Marvel properties, save for Spider-Man. Why go see Dark Phoenix? It is not setting up further films and franchises.Today, that’s what audiences want, less of a film and more of a set-up for things to come. Franchise films are something of an investment for them now, almost like a television show. Even if the film does not make it to number one, let’s hope the best for it.