Disney Specifically Names DARK PHOENIX As Being A Huge Factor In Its Quarterly Losses

Disney Specifically Names DARK PHOENIX As Being A Huge Factor In Its Quarterly Losses

Dark Phoenix bombed at the box office, and now Disney has acknowledged that the movie played a key role in why they posted a $170 million operating loss during its fiscal third quarter. Check it out...

Earlier today, we told you that Disney has decided to focus on Fox properties such as Avatar and Planet of the Apes after reporting some significant losses during its latest quarterly earnings call with shareholders. Now, it's been revealed that the final X-Men movie, Dark Phoenix, was a major contributing factor to those losses after it flopped at the box office. 

With a budget of over $200 million, Dark Phoenix only ended up earning $253 million worldwide and suffered a huge loss as a result (especially after factoring in marketing costs and the like). 

Disney posted a $170 million operating loss in its fiscal third quarter, and you'd best believe that a large chunk of that is thanks to the Simon Kinberg-helmed release. This wasn't the only disappointing Fox movie to have come out since the merger, of course, as both The Kid Who Would Be King and Stuber underperformed at the box office in a huge way.
Disney isn't going to put the X-Men on the shelf as Marvel Studios is now in control of those characters, but they'll probably want to hold off for a while in order to help fans wash the nasty taste from their mouths left by Dark Phoenix. The Fantastic Four was named specifically by Kevin Feige at Comic-Con, but he only talked about "mutants" when it came to the X-Men. 

With all that that, it's hard to imagine Disney wanting to sink more money into The New Mutants, especially when it needs reshoots and marketing it will also cost money. Don't be surprised if it never actually sees the light of day. We'll see, though. 

Hit the "View List" button for more shocking details about
Dark Phoenix since it crashed and bombed in theaters!

The Skrulls Were Meant To Appear


The D'Bari are revealed to be Dark Phoenix's alien villains and Jessica Chastain is named as Vuk, an extremely obscure character from the comic books. That wasn't always going to be the case, though, and Tye Sheridan confessed that the movie's original ending would have featured Cyclops battling an army of Skrulls at the United Nations. 

This explains how the villains were able to shapeshift, and common sense says that reshoots saw them become the D'Bari because the delayed release date meant Fox wouldn't be able to beat Captain Marvel to the punch. 

After all, there have already been rumblings that the Marvel Studios movie led to the final act being changed (more on that later) so the last thing Fox would have wanted would be to face criticisms for using an inferior version of the Skrulls, as critics would not have shied away from taking aim at them for failing to live up to what had come before.

It Was Meant To Be A Two-Parter


Quite some time ago, Olivia Munn revealed that Dark Phoenix was being written as a two-parter. Well, it turns out that was true, but Fox balked at the idea and instead asked Simon Kinberg to rewrite it as just the one movie. A specific reason for that has not been revealed, but what could have been Fox's answer to Infinity War became a less than two-hour epic disappointment. 

There's nothing to say the movie would have been any better had to played out across two movies rather than one, but it would have given Kinberg the opportunity to tell a larger, epic tale. 

Chances are Fox simply didn't have faith in a first-time director to shoot two movies back to back, especially as previous instalments of the X-Men franchise have been plagued by problems behind the scenes which have only just now started coming to light. We'll touch on those a little later, though. 

A Completely Different Ending


It wasn't just the inclusion of the Skrulls that would have given Dark Phoenix a completely different ending. As we mentioned above, the final act was originally set to take place at the UN rather than on a train and that entire sequence was actually the result of reshoots. The original ending was going to put the focus on Scott Summers, Jean Grey, and Professor X as they battled the aliens.

We don't know what that would have meant for the other characters, but test audiences reportedly rejected this version and made it clear they wanted to see the X-Men in action. Either way, things would have wrapped up in a similar fashion, as Jean was always going to take Vuk into outer space. 

James Cameron Convinced Fox To Change The Release Date


Dark Phoenix was not meant to be a summer blockbuster, hence why it originally took aim at November and February release dates. Why was it released in June? Well, blame James Cameron. 

Just two days after a new trailer was released touting Dark Phoenix's February 14th release date, Fox announced that it had been pushed back to June. That was a result of Cameron (a valuable asset to Fox) pushing for Alita: Battle Angel to be moved from a crowded December to that February slot in order to give it a better chance of success.

Despite pleas from Kinberg, producer Hutch Parker, and Fox's Emma Watts not to do it, Stacey Snider gave in to the filmmaker's demands. Alita still bombed when it arrived in theaters.

It's Going To Make A Huge Loss At The Box Office


Dark Phoenix debuted with $140 million at the worldwide box office, a significant drop from Days of Future Past's $262.9 million and a notable decline compared to Apocalypse's $166.6 million.

With a budget of $350 million (those reshoots weren't cheap), Dark Phoenix looks set to lose at least $100 million - $120 million for the now Fox-owned Disney. However, that's only if it meets $300 million - $325 million estimates and some analysts believe it could go as low as $285 million. 

If Fox still owned the X-Men franchise, they would surely be turning to Marvel Studios for help!

Behind The Scenes Chaos


One big question fans have been asking since Dark Phoenix's release was why Simon Kinberg was chosen to take the helm of a big budget blockbuster when he had no prior filmmaking experience.

Well, a number of reliable outlets have confirmed that when Bryan Singer went M.I.A. on the set of Days of Future Past and Apocalypse, it was Kinberg who took control of things and that impressed the cast enough that they pushed for him to do the same with Dark Phoenix

It's also finally been confirmed that he shot Fantastic Four's disastrous reshoots. 

Constant Rewrites


In what must have seemed like a fairly innocent remark when she made it, Sophie Turner revealed in an interview that rewrites were a daily occurrence. In fact, the actress - who has no prior experience as a writer - would often help with the script, and, well, it's no wonder the story ended up being a complete mess.

We're not laying the blame at Turner's feet, but any movie that's being rewritten while shooting is taking place will have the odds stacked against it, and it takes a far more capable filmmaker than Kinberg to make that work. We've also heard that Fox regretted not keeping a closer eye on him during principal photography, and they soon realised that the movie was going off the rails it seems. 

Captain Marvel Comparisons


Late last week, we heard that a big chunk of Dark Phoenix was changed because of similarities to Captain Marvel. Since then, some sites have said that is the case while others have claimed Fox had no prior knowledge of what was to come in the Marvel Studios movie. Ultimately, it seems as if the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle. 

When Kinberg and company saw the Skrulls in the trailers for Captain Marvel, they must have thought better than to do the same, and as for why Jean Grey's appearance was so greatly changed, we can probably put that down to worries about comparisons to Carol Danvers' Binary form.

As for rumblings that Jean no longer blew up a number of spaceships as the Phoenix because of the Marvel Studios movie, that seems harder to believe as there is no way that Fox could have known what was going to happen in the closing moments of Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck's movie. 

Simon Kinberg Didn't Direct The Movie's Best Scene


Say what you will about Dark Phoenix, but that action-packed train sequence was pretty awesome. Well, Simon Kinberg was not responsible for that because it was actually stunt co-ordinator Bryan Smrz (Iron Man 3) who shot it. That's confirmed in the movie's credits, and a recent report reveals that additional photography took place at the same time a second unit worked on that scene. 

As a result, it's hard to say what we have Kinberg to thank for beyond a bad movie. 

Will he get more work in Hollywood moving forward? Well, he's attached to a project with Jessica Chastain but it wouldn't be at all surprising if some big changes are made after this collaboration!

Lauren Shuler Donner Disowns Dark Phoenix


Last weekend, longtime X-Men producer Lauren Shuler Donner sent out a Tweet in which she disowned Dark Phoenix and made it clear that she had nothing to do with Apocalypse or The New Mutants, either. At first, it seemed like she was pulling a Josh Trank, but then a few more details emerged.
After "creative differences" on Days of Future Past, she actually left the franchise altogether and has had nothing to do with the likes of Deadpool, Logan, or Deadpool 2. The only reason she received a producer credit on those movies is down to some pretty generous contract terms, so it's no wonder that her big plans for Gambit never ended up coming to fruition. 

However, this still generated even more negative publicity for Dark Phoenix during its opening weekend.
Continue reading below to see how the X-Men movies have fared on Rotten Tomatoes!

X-Men (2000)


Critics Score: 81%
Audience Score: 83%
Certified Fresh? Yes
Critics Consensus: Faithful to the comics and filled with action, X-Men brings a crowded slate of classic Marvel characters to the screen with a talented ensemble cast and surprisingly sharp narrative focus.

X-2: X-Men United (2003)


Critics Score: 85%
Audience Score: 85%
Certified Fresh? Yes
Critics Consensus: Tightly scripted, solidly acted, and impressively ambitious, X2: X-Men United is bigger and better than its predecessor -- and a benchmark for comic sequels in general.

X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)


Critics Score: 58%
Audience Score: 61%
Certified Fresh? No
Critics Consensus: X-Men: The Last Stand provides plenty of mutant action for fans of the franchise, even if it does so at the expense of its predecessors' deeper character moments.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)


Critics Score: 37%
Audience Score: 58%
Certified Fresh? No
Critics Consensus: Though Hugh Jackman gives his all, he can't help X-Men Origins: Wolverine overcome a cliche-ridden script and familiar narrative.

X-Men: First Class (2011)


Critics Score: 86%
Audience Score: 87%
Certified Fresh? Yes
Critics Consensus: With a strong script, stylish direction, and powerful performances from its well-rounded cast, X-Men: First Class is a welcome return to form for the franchise.

The Wolverine (2013)


Critics Score: 71%
Audience Score: 69%
Certified Fresh? No
Critics Consensus: Although its final act succumbs to the usual cartoonish antics, The Wolverine is one superhero movie that manages to stay true to the comics while keeping casual viewers entertained.

X-Men: Days Of Future Past (2014)


Critics Score: 90%
Audience Score: 91%
Certified Fresh? Yes
Critics Consensus: X-Men: Days of Future Past combines the best elements of the series to produce a satisfyingly fast-paced outing that ranks among the franchise's finest installments.

Deadpool (2016)


Critics Score: 84%
Audience Score: 90%
Certified Fresh? Yes
Critics Consensus: Fast, funny, and gleefully profane, the fourth-wall-busting Deadpool subverts superhero film formula with wildly entertaining -- and decidedly non-family-friendly -- results.

X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)


Critics Score: 47%
Audience Score: 65%
Certified Fresh? No
Critics Consensus: Overloaded action and a cliched villain take the focus away from otherwise strong performers and resonant themes, making X-Men: Apocalypse a middling chapter of the venerable superhero franchise.

Logan (2017)


Critics Score: 93%
Audience Score: 90%
Certified Fresh? Yes
Critics Consensus: Hugh Jackman makes the most of his final outing as Wolverine with a gritty, nuanced performance in a violent but surprisingly thoughtful superhero action film that defies genre conventions.

Deadpool 2 (2018)


Critics Score: 83%
Audience Score: 85%
Certified Fresh? Yes
Critics Consensus: Though it threatens to buckle under the weight of its meta gags, Deadpool 2 is a gory, gleeful lampoon of the superhero genre buoyed by Ryan Reynolds' undeniable charm.

Once Upon A Deadpool (2018)


Critics Score: 51%
Audience Score: 50%
Certified Fresh? No
Critics Consensus: Once Upon a Deadpool retains enough of the franchise's anarchic spirit to entertain, but doesn't add enough to Deadpool 2 to justify its own existence.

Dark Phoenix (2019)


Critics Score: 23%
Audience Score: TBA
Certified Fresh? N/A
Critics Consensus: Dark Phoenix ends an era of the X-Men franchise by taking a second stab at adapting a classic comics arc -- with deeply disappointing results.

How They Stack Up


13. Dark Phoenix
12. X-Men Origins: Wolverine
11. X-Men: Apocalypse
10. Once Upon A Deadpool
9. X-Men: The Last Stand
8. The Wolverine
7. X-Men
6. Deadpool 2
5. Deadpool
4. X2: X-Men United
3. X-Men: First Class
2. X-Men: Days of Future Past
1. Logan
DISCLAIMER: ComicBookMovie.com is protected under the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) and... [MORE]
Related Headlines
Latest Headlines