Dark Phoenix directly led to Disney's massive third quarter profit loss. The final X-Men installment under the Fox umbrella was pretty much doomed from the start, but it still ended up performing under expectations, which has a lot to do with its hefty $200 million production cost (not including promotion). As of this writing, Dark Phoenix is at $252.3 million globally with the digital and Blu-ray release on the way in September. With such a large production cost, it was always going to be hard to make a profit. In response, Disney will now be "refocusing" their attention on its Fox properties.
Disney CEO Bob Iger revealed that Dark Phoenix was mainly to blame for their third quarter loss of up to $170 million in operating costs during the company's quarterly call with investors. The studio has already been going through and closing parts of Fox's movie division and it looks like that will continue, resulting in more lost jobs. Iger had this to say about being blindsided by their quarter 3 losses.
"One of the biggest issues we faced in the quarter was the performance of the Fox film business. It was well below what it had been and well below what we thought it would be when we did the acquisition."
Disney is getting rid of the majority of the existing Fox big screen development slate and refocusing output. As previously revealed, Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige will be taking on the X-Men and Fantastic Four properties, along with others. The studio has faith in what Feige has been doing with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, especially after Avengers: Endgame just became the highest grossing movie of all time.
With the Marvel Studios side flourishing and about to get bigger with the addition of the Fox properties, Disney should have no problem seeing their profits soar once again. As far as the other Fox properties moving forward, Bob Iger mentioned Ford v. Ferrari, James Cameron's upcoming Avatar sequels, and more Planet of the Apes installments. This should come as no surprise since the acquisition looked risky from the start in terms of Fox properties that were going to end up at the top of the box office. Stuber and The Kid Who Would Be King also underperformed, adding to the third quarter losses.
Bob Iger also talked about reboots of Home Alone, Night at the Museum, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid for the upcoming Disney+ streaming service. When all is said and done, Disney will come out of this just fine, but it still has to clear out some of the cobwebs, which will unfortunately result in more jobs being lost on the Fox side of things. However, the writing has been on the wall for quite some time now. Variety was the first to report on the massive quarter three losses for Disney.