‘Phoenix’ goes up in flames, ‘Pets’ not much better

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Call it “sequel-itis.” Call it mediocre moviemaking. Call it ambivalence because of moving to Disney/Marvel.

Whatever the reason, the final film in the 20th Century Fox X-Men (or ‘Fox-Men’) universe ended with a whimper as Dark Phoenix landed at the weekend box office with a resounding THUD.

Consider this.

Although Dark Phoenix was sold as the Avengers: Endgame of the X-Men cinematic universe, the film delivered not only the worst opening numbers in the 19-year history of the franchise, but also the lowest CinemaScore coming in at B-. This puts the film lower than The Wolverine ($53 million) and the 2000 X-Men ($54 million), as well as the lowest-earning of the MCU, The Incredible Hulk ($55 million).

And it gets worse. According to Deadline, Dark Phoenix is likely to lose between $100 and $120 million after all is said and done, likely further hurt by disappointed reviews from critics and fans alike. It’s a sad end to the franchise which, quite frankly, has been hit or miss. For every Logan, Days of Future Past and X-2 (which is credited as the father to the modern-day superhero films) there is X-men: Apocalypse and X-Men: Last Stand.

Most likely, it will be a loooooong time before Kevin Feige and company resurrect Cyclops, Wolverine and Jean Grey and that is probably for the best.

While it placed first, The Secret Life of Pets 2 was also a disappointment to both Universal and Illumination Studios. The animated film starring the voices of Kevin Hart and Harrison Ford (in his first animated role) grossed an $47.1 million in ticket sales. However, its performance is less than half of the original, 2016 film’s $104.3 million, which remains a record opening for an original, animated feature.

Pets 2 did receive an “A-” CinemaScore from opening day audiences, while playing to a crowd that was 57% female with 62% of the film’s opening crowd being family moviegoers. The film’s production budget was around $80 million and its global total already surpassed that mark earning $97 million, so it’s still a win for the studio.

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Disney’s Aladdin wished its way into third place with an estimated $24.5 million. That represents a 43% drop as it enters its third week in release. The film’s domestic cume is now over $232 million. With a international $372.5 million, pushing Aladdin’s global total to almost $605 million.

In fourth, Warner’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters dropped hard, fell as hard as the three Kaijus he was battling with a -67.5% for an estimated $15.5 million second weekend. The film’s domestic gross currently stands at $78.6 million.

Internationally, Godzilla added $47.1 million this weekend for an overseas cume that stands at $213.7 million and a global tally topping $292 million. It remains to be seen if audiences are tired of giant lizards stomping cities.

Rounding out the top five is Paramount’s Rocketman, which dropped -46% in its second weekend for an estimated $14 million. The film’s domestic cume now stands at just over $50 million after ten days in release.

Here is the domestic chart for last weekend’s box office:

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Source: ComScore

Here is the worldwide chart for last weekend’s box office:

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Source: ComScore
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