X-Men: Dark Phoenix is to blame for 20th Century Fox's reported $170 million loss, according to Disney.
CEO Bob Iger told investors that during a conference call this week, as reported by Variety, explaining that Fox’s six-figure operating loss is reflected in Disney’s fiscal third quarter.
“One of the biggest issues was the Fox studio performance which was well below where it had been and well below where we hoped it would be when we made the acquisition,” Iger said.
Dark Phoenix was the tenth and final X-Men movie in that franchise (including the Wolverine movies) but it was a critical flop and commercial failure.
The film starring Sophie Turner, James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain and Michael Fassbender, cost $200 million to make but only made $252.4 million at the worldwide box office.
Simon Kinberg, who has served as a writer and producer on the X-Men for years but made his directorial debut with Dark Phoenix, accepted the blame for its failure.
“It clearly is a movie that didn’t connect with the audiences that didn’t see it, it clearly didn’t connect enough with audiences that did see it, so that’s on me.”
“I’m here and I’m saying when a movie doesn’t work, put it on me. I’m the writer/director of the movie, the movie didn’t connect with audiences, that’s on me,” Kinberg told KCRW’s The Business podcast.
Delaying Dark Phoenix’s release to the start of June meant it would be coming out after Avengers: Endgame, which Kinberg also believes severely diminished the appetite for Fox’s last ever X-Men movie.
Read more: Daniel Radcliffe won’t play Wolverine
Now the Marvel franchise’s reins, as well as those for Deadpool and Fantastic Four, have been handed over to Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige.
"It's still early days, but it's been a fun exercise,” Feige told Fandango, as well as admitting that he has been thinking about how to bring the beloved superheroes into the MCU for “years.”
“Every development meeting starts with cool ideas and fun ideas, and our wheels are always turning in terms of what if... to use a Marvel publishing term,” he said.
“What if we did this? What if we did that? What if we had access to such and such characters?”
“That's how Spider-Man: Homecoming came together in the first place, and it's fun to now be in this position with the Fox characters, too, because if we come up with a great ‘What If’ we can actually do it."
Feige teased the arrival of “mutants” in the MCU at San Diego Comic-Con but did not go as far as he did with the Fantastic Four by confirming a new movie was in development.
The last Fox-produced X-Men movie, The New Mutants, is expected to be released in 2020.