It's not surprising at this point, coming up on a year later, that Dark Phoenix was not a financial success. But it appears that things may be worse than previously expected as the final entry in Fox's version of the main X-Men franchise is now said to be the biggest financial bomb of 2019. Disney, after purchasing most of Fox's media assets in a landmark $71.3 billion merger that went into effect last year, lost a boatload of money on this one.
According to a new report that broke down the biggest box office bombs from last year. X-Men: Dark Phoenix topped the list, as it's said to have lost $133 million in total. Directed by longtime franchise writer and producer Simon Kindberg, the adaptation of the beloved Marvel Comics storyline hoped to atone for the sins of X-Men: The Last Stand, which previously took a stab at this arc back in 2006. That's not how it panned out. Critics were not kind to the movie, which currently holds a very poor 23 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Ultimately, audiences simply didn't care to show up when it was released.
In total, the superhero flick earned just $65 million at the domestic box office, to go along with $186 million from international markets. That measly $252 million global total makes for a franchise-worst. And considering this series dates all the way back to 2000 with come heavily disappointing entries in between, that is truly saying something. Given the lackluster response, and the movie's rather massive $200 million reported production budget, home media sales and secondary revenue streams weren't nearly enough to save this one from being a financial trainwreck for Disney.
Following the merger, Disney suffered a series of flops that were produced by Fox, including Stuber, Ad Astra and, to a lesser degree, Alita: Battle Angel. Disney also had a strake in distributing Terminator: Dark Fate which, per this same report, was the second-biggest financial disappointment of 2019, coming in with $122.6 million in losses. Not that anyone is crying for Disney, as they had a record-shattering year at the box office in 2019, becoming the first studio in history to earn more than $10 billion in a single calendar year. No other studio has even come close.
The flop that Dark Phoenix became paved the way for Disney to ax most of Fox's development state. Now rebranded as 20th Century Studios, the output from that corner of the Disney empire is expected to decrease substantially when compared to the 20th Century Fox days. Meanwhile, Disney still has the spin-off The New Mutants, which doesn't feature any of the core X-Men characters, waiting in the wings. The movie has been delayed several times and was finally scheduled to hit theaters in April before the theater shutdown hit in mid-March. Perhaps it might be best to let that one go to streaming and move on to the planned reboot of the X-Men within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This news comes to us via Deadline.