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13
Jun 2019

Last Friday marked the release of X-Men: Dark Phoenix. The film tells the story of Jean Grey, played by Sophie Turner, and her battle with the Phoenix who intends on taking her over. During its opening weekend, it earned around 33$ million, which is lower than its predecessor X-Men: Apocalypse at 65.7$ million. X-Men: First Class earned 55.1$ million while the second sequel, X-Men: Days of Future Past, earned 90.8$ million. The last film of the franchise earned an approval rate of 23% on Rotten Tomatoes and 43 on Metacritic. The consensus on Rotten Tomatoes was that “Dark Phoenix ends an era of the X-Men franchise by taking a second stab at adapting a classic comics arc – with deeply disappointing results.”[1]

The weekend’s top twelve combined to outperform the same weekend last year by more than 43%, which means the year-to-year gap continues to close, but the weekend’s new releases both struggled mightily. Universal and Illumination’s The Secret Life of Pets 2 was unable to even deliver half of the opening the first film delivered just a few years ago, while Fox’s Dark Phoenix entered the weekend as the worst reviewed film in the X-Men franchise ever and, predictably, delivered the lowest opening weekend of the franchise.

In second place things don’t get any better as Disney’s release of Fox’s Dark Phoenix could only manage an estimated $33 million debut, making it the first film in the X-Men franchise to fail to deliver a $50+ million opening. In fact, like Pets 2 the film’s opening is well off even the studio’s modest, $40-50 million expectations and over $30 million shy of the disappointing, $65.7 million opening for X-Men: Apocalypse three years ago.

The average multiplier for films in the X-Men franchise is 2.5x, which would suggest we’re looking at an $82.5 million domestic run for Dark Phoenix, which would make it the first film in the franchise to finish below $100 million domestically. The film received a “B-” CinemaScore from opening day audiences, which is a grade below the “A-” score for X-Men: Apocalypse, as audiences seemed to agree with the negative critical reception. The audience was 57% male with 61% of the opening weekend crowd coming in aged 25 years or older.

Internationally, Dark Phoenix debuted in all but Japan this weekend, bringing in an estimated $107 million, led by a $45.6 million opening in China. Additional openings include South Korea ($5.7m), Mexico ($5.0m), UK ($4.9m), France ($3.8m), Russia ($3.4m), Brazil ($2.9m), Philippines ($2.4m), Taiwan ($2.3m) and India ($2.3m). The film will open in Japan on June 21.

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