Fox’s X-Men franchise is one of the most commercially successful brands in the history of cinema, raking in close to $6.1 billion at the box office. However, as you’d have expected from a franchise that spanned thirteen movies, 20 years, nine directors, sequels, reboots, spinoffs and sometimes combinations of all three, the quality of the individual installments was all over the place.
The critical and financial success that greeted Days of Future Past, the Deadpool duology and Logan delivered plenty of cause for optimism that a semi-permanent creative renaissance was on the cards, but the last two outings under the Fox banner before the rights shifted to Disney were the weakest X-Men movies ever made.
The New Mutants spent years on the shelf before landing with a thud, leading many to wonder why the studio didn’t cut their losses and release it sooner given how inessential it turned out to be. However, it was still superior to Dark Phoenix, which brought the main saga to a conclusion in the most underwhelming fashion possible.
Simon Kinberg may have been an X-Men veteran as a writer and producer, but handing him $200 million to make his directorial debut was a disastrous move. There are very few if any redeeming qualities about Dark Phoenix, and it went down in the history books as the biggest box office bomb of 2019 and the lowest-rated entry in the series on both Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.
However, it’s been performing surprisingly well on Amazon Video, with a huge number of subscribers checking it out to make it one of the Top 10 most-watched movies on the platform in the United States. Of course, international customers have access to it as part of the Marvel Legacy collection on Disney Plus, but even then it would take a brave soul to actively seek out Dark Phoenix for entertainment purposes.