More 'Dark Phoenix' Drama Revealed As $100M Losses Are Projected

Well, here we are. The requisite "How much money did this failed blockbuster lose" story, which happens all too often lately as a final nut punch when a movie is already down. It was inevitable that we'd get one of these for Dark Phoenix, and it's only because this is my beloved X-Men and there are previously-unknown details that it's worth posting.

Deadline's analysis is that Dark Phoenix will ultimately lose around $100M for Disney, but this assumes it hits $325M worldwide. If you read my box office report from yesterday you know this is hardly a given and it could do considerably worse. As of now it rests at just $140M globally, so it's got a ways to go.  We can go through the litany of reasons why this happened, but it boils down to one thing: bad buzz, and there's more on that front which I hadn't known.

The report goes that Fox did a piss-poor job of managing the negative headlines the movie was getting after repeated reshoots. We heard a number of reasons for the reshoots, including that the ending was too similar to another superhero film assumed to be Captain Marvel. But it turns out the real reason was the audience test screenings, with the major complaint being that the final battle didn't feature the entire team fighting together. Viewers wanted more than just Jean, Cyclops, and Xavier, so director Simon Kinberg went in and gave them what they wanted. I thought that fight turned out quite well, actually.

Furthermore, those reshoots turned out to be pretty slim by franchise standards, coming in cheaper than what we saw with X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Apocalypse. However, Fox did nothing to change the building narrative, and that theme of doing nothing continued when it comes to the delays. Turns out the only one that really matters was the final one, which was caused by Fox wanting to give James Cameron's Alita Battle Angel a little more breathing room. Kinberg and the Dark Phoenix team weren't happy about it, since they didn't set out to make a summer blockbuster and the expectations are far greater. Well, we see he was right about that.

Maybe Fox was phoning it in at this point, knowing the franchise would soon be out of their hands and any losses (or possible gains) would be credited to Disney, anyway. Either way, it looks like Dark Phoenix had even more stacked against it than we knew.  It's still a movie I think is worth checking out, and concludes the X-Men franchise on a relatively good note when it clearly could've been so much worse.