Dark Phoenix Has the Worst X-Men Debut of All Time

'The Secret Life of Pets' takes the top spot
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 9, 2019 1:34 PM CDT
Dark Phoenix Gets Beaten by Talking Animals
This image released by Universal Pictures shows, from left, Snowball, voiced by Kevin Hart, Daisy, voiced by Tiffany Haddish and Pops, voiced by Dana Carvey in a scene from "The Secret Life of Pets 2."   (Illumination Entertainment/Universal Pictures via AP)

After nearly 20 years and a dozen films, the current manifestation of X-Men movies is going out with a whimper. Scorched by poor reviews, the $200 million Dark Phoenix earned a franchise low of $33 million from 3,721 North American locations over the weekend for a second place finish, the AP reports. First place went instead to The Secret Life of Pets 2. The Universal Pictures and Illumination sequel, featuring the voices of Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish, and Harrison Ford in his first animated role, grossed an estimated $47.1 million in ticket sales. Although less than half of what the first film opened to in 2016, it's still a major win for the studio, considering the production budget was around $80 million. Including international grosses, its global total is already sitting at $97 million.

"It's a fantastic result," says Jim Orr, Universal's president of domestic theatrical distribution. "We couldn't be more proud to partner with (CEO) Chris Meledandri and everyone at Illumination." With decidedly less stellar results, Dark Phoenix trailed behind the talking animals. Directed by longtime X-Men scribe Simon Kinberg, it focuses on Jean Grey who is played by Sophie Turner fresh off of her Game of Thrones run as Sansa Stark. It also brings back James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, and Jennifer Lawrence. Filling out the top five movies are Aladdin ($24 million), Godzilla: King of the Monsters ($15.4 million), and Rocketman ($13 million), Variety reports. Among specialty films, Mindy Kaling’s Late Night got a strong start with $249,654 in four theaters.

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