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“Dark Phoenix” | What Went Wrong

Before Marvel Studios was widely popular in the movie business and taking over theaters, Fox Studios was. They did their own Marvel movies with the X-Men characters. The franchise was already popular back in the early 2000’s when the first live action X-Men film hit theaters.

The first three X-Men films were popular but the 3rd film The Last Stand was criticized when they attempted to tell their version of the “Phoenix Saga”. X3 The Last Stand was a passable X-Men movie, but it failed at its attempt to tell the Dark Phoenix story, a story that is very popular in the Marvel Comic Universe, some considering that its better than the Infinity Saga.

Dark Pheonix isn’t a half bad film, it did have some great moments. However one of the obvious reasons Dark Phoenix missed its mark is because its release date was pushed back twice. Originally it was supposed to be released in November of 2018, then it was pushed back to February of 2019, then finally it was given a release date of June 7th. While a summer release date was better for the movie, it came after the extensive reshoots for the films ending, and the highly anticipated film that kicked off the summer, Avengers Endgame took over social media and advertisement slots everywhere. Dark Phoenix didn’t stand a chance from the beginning.

“Because not a single person is checking for Dark Phoenix once its pushed back”

Shane A.

Another reason why the movie isn’t doing so well is because of all the negative news it received about how terrible the test screenings were. The news got out to the public, and it put people off from needing to see the film. 

Marketing also played a major factor into the films box office bombing, while the marketing department did what they were told early on the fact that the movie kept getting pushed back, hurt the full scale of the marketing for the film, there were not a lot of TV spots, and the internet criticized movie posters specifically character posters that look like a amateur photoshop job. 

Another reason Dark Phoenix didn’t do well is because of the trailer. The trailer was highly criticized specifically for the way Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) looked, and the fact that they didn’t use the great looking costumes teased at the end of X-Men Apocalypse. Right of the back, the movie was fixing up to be a big letdown. 

The hype was also missing. We knew for a long time that Simon Kinberg was not only writing the new version of the Dark Phoenix story, but he was directing it as well. Maybe this time we could get the Dark Phoenix story we deserved but unfortunately it didn’t deliver.  

Word of mouth reactions to Dark Phoenix was enough to discourage people from going to see the movie in the theater. There were also other movies coming out that was more interesting than the “late to the party” Dark Phoenix film. So, I think most people decided to wait for the DVD release. 

Since people now know that the X-Men movies were never connected to the MCU and if they didn’t like X-Men movies they had no reason to go see it. Only hardcore X-Men fans and fans of the characters were in the theaters to see this movie. 

One thing that Marvel Studios does well was not only make quality well written films, they brought in new fans, something many Syfy/fantasy films don’t do. 

During the early phase of the films development the story was supposed to be broken in to two parts. Part one would have been released summer 2018, and part two would have come out this year. Sadly because of the budget and Disney looking to purchase Fox ultimately changed the course of this movie’s development. So instead the film was sliced down to one feature film sacrificing what would have been a better way to tell such an epic story. 

As it stands, the cartoon version of the Phoenix saga is still arguably the best version of the story outside of the comic books. So, if the next attempt at the Phoenix saga is done by Marvel Studios, they need to take notes from the X-Men the Animated Series. 

Thanks for reading.

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