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Worst Opening Of The Franchise: 'X-Men Dark Phoenix' Fails To Ignite Box Office

This is the way the X-Men franchise ends: Not with a bang, but a whimper.

The recently released 'X-Men: Dark Phoenix' has had the lowest opening weekend at the US box office of any of the prior 11 films in the franchise.

The film boasts an impressive ensemble cast led by 'Game of Thrones' star Sophie Turner, alongside James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult and Jessica Chastain, but even with all that star-power behind it, the film fizzled on its opening weekend.

Variety reports the film is on pace for a $34 million opening in the US, while some of the other notable box office fizzlers like 2013's 'The Wolverine' still managed a debut weekend of $53 million.

To be fair to the albeit terrible 'Dark Phoenix', the X-Men franchise has followed a downward trend at the box office, with the 'Deadpool' films standing as obvious outliers -- the first making $132 million in its opening weekend in the US.

It's a sad moment for X-Men fans who hoped 20th Century Fox's final film (before the merger with Disney meant the franchise could potentially be wrapped into the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe in the far future) could prove naysayers wrong.

Set in 1992, the film follows Jean Grey (Turner), a powerful mutant who is exposed to a mysterious energy in space that greatly enhances her powers, but also brings out a darker side to her. Oh, also there is a race of aliens who want to get the space energy for themselves.

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After 'X-Men: Days of Future Past' very poignantly reversed all the events of the critically panned 'X-Men: The Last Stand' basically making the film irrelevant in the franchise's canon, 'Dark Phoenix' was a second stab at the Dark Phoenix storyline.

Interestingly enough, Simon Kinberg -- who wrote and directed 'Dark Phoenix' -- was the writer of 'The Last Stand' and had hoped to give Jean's iconic comic storyline a more faithful adaptation.

The film has -- unfortunately -- been met with similarly scathing reviews as its predecessor.

'The Last Stand' actually has a 57 percent rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, while 'Dark Phoenix' struggles to stay just above 20 percent.

Critics called it a 'joyless, lifeless, boring affair' that 'comes across as more of a collection of forgettable outtakes'. Performances were called 'cornball' and 'hacky', and the whole affair considered a 'low point' in the franchise.

While 'Dark Phoenix' marked the end of Fox's ownership of the franchise there is still one more film to be released from the X-Men Franchise, 'The New Mutants'.

'New Mutants' was originally set to release in cinemas in April 2018, but was pushed back to February 2019, then again delayed to August 2019. Now that Disney is in control of Fox's assets, the film has been pushed back once again to April 2020, which has understandably not inspired much confidence in fans.

Still, 'X-Men: Dark Phoenix' is in cinemas across Australia now.

Featured image: 20th Century Fox.