Suggesting that super-powered twentysomethings with grudges to bear aren’t the only catastrophes currently affecting one of Hollywood’s longest-running comic book franchises, Variety reports today that the just-released-in-theaters Dark Phoenix is on track to have the smallest domestic opening of any of the 12 x-tant X-Men films. (And yes, they helpfully note: That includes famous low-performers like James Mangold’s The Wolverine.)
According to Box Office Mojo, Simon Kinberg’s coda to the whole dang mutant super-franchise brought in just $14 million on Thursday and Friday nights—by comparison, the last main X-Men film, Apocalypse, did $26 million when it opened on May 27, 2016, and the franchise’s top performer, Deadpool 2, pulled $53 million on its first day in theaters. Said disappointing performance comes after a production that was notably troubled; Kinberg, in his first time directing a series that he’s written and produced on for years, did extensive reshoots on the movie, including reportedly swapping out its entire third act, which kept it out of theaters for more than a year.
Dark Phoenix is being pitched as the grand finale of Fox’s entire X-Men film series stretching back to 2000's X-Men, ahead of whatever the hell Disney ends up doing with these characters in the years ahead. But audiences definitely aren’t treating it like another Endgame; rather than heralding it as a cultural event or touchstone, it mostly seems to be being met with shrugs and resounding cries of “Hey, didn’t they do that one already?”