'Dark Phoenix' Underwhelms in Premiere

   June 11, published an excellent post mortem on the poor theatrical premiere of Dark Phoenix, which is the 12th movie installment of the X-Men series. The article by Anthony D’Alessandro notes audiences gave it the lowest evaluation of the X-Men flicks with a B- CinemaScore, “fanboy outcry over re-shoots and that last-minute [premiere] change following the September trailer drop (which said Feb 14) to this weekend.”
   Walt Disney Studios generated $32.8 million for the June 7-9 weekend, ranking second and is the first of the 12 X-Men films to generate less than $50 million in a three-day premiere. In March, 

Disney acquired Fox, which made the X-Men movie franchise. Dark Phoenix finished principal photography back in 2017, so it had been on the shelf for a while and D’Alessandro feels Disney could do little but release what it had.
      “We heard that in one cut, Jean Grey dies, which wasn’t received well,” D’Alessandro writes of audience tests screenings. “But overall, the major ending change-up, executed in reshoots, entailed going from an intimate ending with Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), Tye Sheridan (Cyclops), and Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) against Jessica Chastain’s Vuk. The feeling from the audience in testing was that they wanted to see all the X-Men heroes fighting in the end.”
   The release date did avoid any sci-fi/action competition with the fluffy animated Secret Lives of Pets 2 the only substantial competition at the box office.
   The weekend’s #1 release was Universal Pictures The Secret Life of Pets 2 whose $46.6 million three-day premiere was off from its predecessor but far surpassed Dark Phoenix—a more expensive film.
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