The newest, and penultimate movie in the X-Men franchise under Fox, debuted in theaters this past weekend, and...things did not go well. Dark Phoenix found itself opening to the lowest box office numbers in the history of the nearly 20 year old franchise. Based on that lackluster opening, and the odds that things are unlikely to get any better, analysts are predicting that the movie could end up losing as much as $120 million.
As one can imagine, there are a lot of theories as to why Dark Phoenix may have performed so badly. There are a variety of factors that appear to have contributed to the downfall in some way. The fact that the previous X-Men film, Apocalypse, had been the lowest grossing film in the franchise up until now certainly didn't help. It's likely that the film turned a lot of people off and nothing in Dark Phoenix was enough to bring them back.
On top of that, for those in the know that follow Hollywood and knew that this was to be the final movie in the Fox X-Men franchise, there may have been a feeling that the movie simply didn't matter because everything was going to be rebooted into the Marvel Cinematic Universe anyway.
Then the film had to go back for reshoots, and while that's common practice for films of this size, there was certainly a feeling from some that these reshoots were bad news, and there was little response from Fox to try and downplay that perspective. The fact that Dark Phoenix had its release date pushed back just a couple days after releasing a trailer with the original release date was not a good look.
There was clearly a perception going in that this was a troubled project, and while it doesn't actually appear the movie had any more difficulty than your average blockbuster, at a certain point perception becomes reality and the feeling that Dark Phoenix wasn't going to be a must see film resulted in that happening.
For a franchise that had some incredible massive entries, watching it fade away like this is more than a little sad.
Of course, technically there's the possibility that the X-Men franchise could still end on a high note. There is one more Fox-produced film waiting in the wings. Of course, The New Mutants is suffering from a lot of the same negative buzz as Dark Phoenix, so it will have the deck stacked against it.