Refresh for latest…: Disney/Fox’s Dark Phoenix came in below pre-weekend projections with an international box office opening of $107M in 53 markets. Combined with a heavily singed domestic bow, the global debut is $140M. The Simon Kinberg-helmed pic is currently running behind both of the last installments overseas, X-Men: Apocalypse (-27%) and X-Men: Days Of Future Past (-19%). It’s No. 1 worldwide, and No. 1 in 36 offshore markets, but audiences essentially gave it the bird amid lousy reviews and social media reaction.
China leads all play with $45.6M which in today’s rates is 28% bigger than Days Of Future Past, but 15% less than Apocalypse, each of which had three-day bows. Dark Phoenix opened in the Middle Kingdom on Thursday, looking to take advantage of the Dragon Boat Festival. It had a decent hike on Friday, the first full day of the holiday, but then saw a 30%+ drop on Saturday, and was down again today, by about 39% which resulted in a start below projections as we earlier wrote.
The bird’s trajectory was impacted by social scores with Maoyan at 7.7 and Douban at 6.1. During the course of the weekend, Maoyan lowered its final full-run China estimate for the Phoenix to a scorched $60.5M. China was the lead home for the last two X-Men, as well as Logan, but Dark Phoenix’s wings were certainly clipped there.
Elsewhere, the numbers are low. Korea came in behind China, all the way down at $5.7M (and against the continued success of Parasite and Aladdin there) with Mexico ($5M), the UK ($4.9M) and France ($3.8M) rounding out the Top 5.
This is a competitive landscape, for sure, but the expensive Dark Phoenix had been through reshoots and release date changes and ultimately resulted in a movie that drew the lowest RT score domestically for any X-Men title. Certainly, as Anthony has noted, franchise fatigue (like with Godzilla last weekend) is a factor when the films aren’t good or in high demand. After Apocalypse, which was not well-received, this can also be seen as a retaliatory reaction from moviegoers.
Cathleen Taff, who is Disney’s President of Theatrical Distribution, Franchise Management and Business & Audience Insights, says, “A great cast and filmmaking team tried to bring the franchise to an epic conclusion and it’s disappointing to see it’s not connecting… I think what’s going to matter is in terms of how these films will be remembered, hopefully it’s the combination and not the opening of the last one.”
It’s a bummer for a Fox title to go out like this (and much of the cast put in a lot of overseas promotion effort). But it wasn’t really clear who the movie was for as some believe the franchise has deteriorated over time. Ultimately, it’s expected to generate a loss, but it also brings the X-Men under the Disney Marvel roof.
Elsewhere, Disney’s Aladdin has been a genie at holding ticket buyers’ attention. After crossing $500M globally last Thursday, it rode past $600M this weekend. The overseas drop was just 30% for $67.6M. Japan got off to a flying start, posting the highest western opening weekend of 2019 to date with an estimated $12.9M.
Warner Bros/Legendary’s Godzilla: King Of The Monsters came in third internationally with $47.1M in 78 markets, a 64% drop from the opening weekend. Overseas, the total is currently $213.7M for $292.3M worldwide.
Though most openings have been lower than its predecessor, Illumination/Universal’s The Secret Life Of Pets 2 is in a long rollout and seeing decent holds with many majors ahead. The global cume is approaching $100M after adding another $16M in 30 offshore markets this session.
Paramount’s Elton John musical fantasy biopic Rocketman put another $13M in the songbook in 50 markets to crocodile rock the offshore cume to $51.3M.
And, in its 7th weekend, Avengers: Endgame is now at $2.731B; it is $57M below Avatar as of today.
Breakdowns on the films above and more are being updated below.
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