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Dark Phoenix fizzles with worst opening at the box office in X-Men history

The last chapter of the series opened at the US box office with just S$19 million, with one critic calling it the "worst movie ever in the X-Men series".

Dark Phoenix fizzles with worst opening at the box office in X-Men history

(Screen grab: Dark Phoenix)

Dark Phoenix has burned up so drastically at the box office, it has the worst debut for an X-Men movie, reported Variety.

The latest Disney-Fox instalment collected just US$14 million (S$19 million) on Friday (Jun 7), performing way below its expected US$34 million opening.

There may still be hope for the Simon Kinberg-directed movie internationally, where the X-Men franchise has excelled in the past. But with a US$200 million price tag and poor reviews (22 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes on opening weekend), it may be a tough flight for the Phoenix.

The Sophie Turner-headlining Dark Phoenix is the seventh and final project in the main X-men series, and revisits Jean Grey yielding to her Phoenix powers. It also brings back Michael Fassbender as Magneto, James McAvoy as the Professor, Nicholas Hoult as Beast, Jennifer Lawrence as Raven, Tye Sheridan as Cyclops and Evan Peters as Quicksilver. They are joined by Jessica Chastain for the first time as alien villain Vuk.

But going by the reviews so far, fans looking forward to a triumphant exit may be disappointed. Rolling Stone called it the “worst movie ever in the X-Men series” and that “Dark Phoenix just lies there like a dying fish, futilely flapping about on land while it waits for the inevitable dying of the light".

On, the movie was described as "a joyless, lifeless, boring affair that repeats ideas from better X-films and feels more like an obligatory reunion cash grab than a deeply considered goodbye to iconic characters".

The Globe And Mail said Phoenix was “dull, flat and totally joyless” and it felt “less like a grand finale, and more like a rushed ending hammered out under a tight deadline".

The few critics who managed to find enough to like about the movie, such as NBC News, said: “Dark Phoenix manages the difficult task of remaining true to the source material's tragic vision while dumping most of its banal misogyny. The result is an often moving story about failure and redemption, with more emotional weight than most superhero blockbusters can muster."

Source: CNA/bk