X-Men: Dark Phoenix Director Takes Blame for Box Office

X-Men: Dark Phoenix director Simon Kinberg has said "that's on me" of the film's box office struggles.

Dark Phoenix Director Simon Kinberg

They say success has many fathers but failure is an orphan. X-Men: Dark Phoenix director Simon Kinberg has decided to take one for the team and adopt that orphan.

In a recent interview with KCRW’s The Business, Kinberg discussed X-Men: Dark Phoenix‘s disappointing box office haul and tepid critical reception. Thus far the film has only made just over $50 million domestically and is holding down a 24% at Rotten Tomatoes, including a poor review from Den of Geek‘s own Don Kaye.

“It clearly is a movie that didn’t connect with audiences that didn’t see it, it didn’t connect enough with audiences that did see it. So that’s on me,” Kinberg said. “I’m here, I’m saying when a movie doesn’t work, put it on me. I’m the writer-director, the movie didn’t connect with audiences, that’s on me.”

X-Men: Dark Phoenix adapts one of the most important plotlines from X-Men history with Sophie Turner reprising her role as Jean Grey, who suddenly takes on new God-like powers as Dark Phoenix.

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X-Men: Dark Phoenix was Simon Kinberg’s directorial debut following a long, fruitful career writing and producing, including Fox/Marvel properties Fantastic Four, X-Men: Days of Future Past, and X-Men: Apocalypse. Kinberg certainly faced a tall challenge with X-Men: Dark Phoenix. Aside from the (hopefully one day actually released) New Mutants, Dark Phoenix was the last X-Men film to be produced under Fox’s stewardship of the franchise. With 20th Century Fox’s assets sold to Disney, X-Men: Dark Phoenix suddenly had to serve as the conclusion to a film franchise dating back to 2000. That’s a difficult situation for anyone to step into, let alone a first-time director.

further reading – X-Men: Dark Phoenix Has Fox Executives Saying “We Were Wrong”

Despite Dark Phoenix‘s relative failures, Kinberg makes clear in the interview that he still enjoyed his time on the film, saying “I actually really like the movie, (and) I had an amazing time making the movie.”

He’s not alone in that as Dark Phoenix creator Chris Claremont has voiced his satisfaction as well. Still, whether with a bang or a whimper, the Fox X-Men franchise had to end someday. Now Kinberg and the rest of us get to sit back and see what Disney has in store.

Alec Bojalad is TV Editor at Den of Geek and TCA member. Read more of his stuff here. Follow him at his creatively-named Twitter handle @alecbojalad