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Dark Phoenix had a brutal opening weekend. The would-be blockbuster culmination of Fox’s decades-long X-Men franchise fizzled out at the box office with just $32.8 million — an all-time low for the franchise — despite a star-studded cast and one of the most recognizable titles in the X-Men legacy. On the heels of the disappointing debut, writer/director Simon Kinberg gave a candid, classy interview on KCRW’s The Business podcast, diving into how release date shuffles and the Disney-Fox merger impacted the film’s journey and why he’s not using any of it as an excuse.
“It’s clearly is a movie that didn’t connect with the audiences that didn’t see it, it clearly didn’t connect enough with audiences that did see it, so that’s on me,” Kinberg said. But that’s not to say there weren’t struggles along the way. First and foremost, the filmmaker highlighted Dark Phoenix‘s path to a summer release date he never planned for — a release date that also left the film in the wake of Avengers: Endgame‘s phenomenal success.
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“I always felt that we had a tough date for this particular movie,” Kinberg explained. “It wasn’t made as a classic superhero movie, it was made as more of a dramatic, intimate, smaller film. Originally it was going to come out in November, then it was going to come out in February, and those were the date that I felt like it actually would have felt more appropriate to.”
“And think also coming out five, six weeks after what may well be the biggest movie or the second biggest movie in the history of cinema, that also happens to be also in the genre of superheroes, was tough for us,” he continued, “and I always anticipated that it was going to be tough to be int he tailwinds of that movie....
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