Take this with a grain of salt, because it’s just a rumor, but reportedly the budget for ‘Dark Phoenix’, Fox’s last ‘X-Men’ team movie is sitting at an astronomical $200 million due to extensive reshoots. However, director Simon Kinberg previously reported that ‘Dark Phoenix’ came in under budget after principle photography and it was stated that reshoots only took two and a half weeks to film and only cost an additional $10 million. This contradicts reports that after test screenings, entire sequences were cut with new footage filmed with all-new sets having to be constructed.
Behind-the-scenes shenanigans aren’t meant to be public knowledge, so despite rumors, studios rarely make direct responses to such buzz.
But let’s just play along.
IF ‘Dark Phoenix’s budget is truly $200 million, this is going to be a huge flop. This was never going to be a record-breaker for a variety of reasons, which I will get to, but on a moderate budget, it could have still been a moderate success. But with an insanely high budget, this is headed in the same direction as ‘Justice League’ and ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’.
As I said, this was never going to be a smash. Why?
#1 — The ‘X-Men’ team movies have been steadily declining over the years. ‘Days of Future Past’ was a hit, but its follow-up, ‘Apocalypse’ was a disappointment, with a weak opening– worse than that of ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’, which killed that particular franchise.
#2 — We’ve already seen this story in the damn terrible ‘X-Men: The Last Stand’. Although this interpretation is said to be more faithful to the comic book storyline, do we need to see it again?
#3 — The only real *star* in the current franchise is Jennifer Lawrence and, well… no one likes her anymore. See: ‘Passengers’, ‘mother!’, and ‘Red Sparrow’.
#4 — The same may be said of the X-Men as a whole. The first ‘X-Men’ movie arrived in 2000, after the ‘X-Men’ cartoon had been on the air for the better part of a decade. They were THE superhero team. The Justice League and Teen Titans hadn’t been given cartoons yet, and no one outside of a comic shop knew who the Avengers were. But Marvel has intentionally suppressed the X-Men in the comics in recent years since Marvel Studios didn’t have the film rights to the characters. Kids these days only care about Captain America, Iron Man, The Hulk… HELL, Rocket, Groot, Ant-Man, Korg… In other words, “Wolverine who?!” (Yeah, I know, Wolverine’s not even in this one.)
#5 — ‘Dark Phoenix’ was supposed to have come out on November 2, 2018. It was then pushed back to February 14, 2019. Then to June 7, 2019. Not a good sign.
#6 — Disney bought Fox. Everyone is anxious to see how Disney integrates the X-Men into their current Marvel Cinematic Universe. ‘Dark Phoenix’ is basically– no pun intended– being burned off. Fox made it. Might as well put in in theaters, right? But along the same lines…
#7 — All anyone cares about this year is ‘Avengers: Endgame’. That, unfortunately for Disney, means that people are also not all that pumped about ‘Captain Marvel’, but that’s another subject for another day.
For ‘Dark Phoenix’, this means that a comic book movie that already only had minimal interest from moviegoers is now competing with the biggest event film in years. On the one hand, we have the culmination of ten years’ worth of crowd-pleasing universe-building, and on the other, something directed by someone who has never directed a movie before (no offense, Simon Kinberg), about a long-in-the-tooth franchise that has lost the interest of fans, starring Sansa Stark (HEY! When does ‘Game of Thrones’ come back?!), The aforementioned star of ‘Red Sparrow’, and
Asa Butterfield Logan Lerman Dylan Minette Tye Sheridan as (LITERALLY) no one’s favorite X-Man Cyclops. On the plus side, ‘Dark Phoenix’ also stars Alexandra Shipp who is awesome enough to almost make up for four movies featuring Halle Berry phoning it in and wearing the cheapest Party City wigs they could find as Storm. (Almost.)
Disagree? Are you excited to see ‘Dark Phoenix’? Comment below!
‘Dark Phoenix’ opens on June 7, 2019.