sophie turner as jean grey in x-men: dark phoenix.

Simon Kinberg on X-Men’s Dark Phoenix Box Office Failure: “That’s on Me”

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Simon Kinberg, in an interview with Kim Masters, host of KCRW’s The Business and editor at The Hollywood Reporter, took responsibility for the box office flop that Dark Phoenix has become, as it has earned just $52 million domestically on a $200 million budget.

“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 told Masters. Despite that, Kinberg made sure to say that he did enjoy the film and it holds a lot of value to him: “I loved making the movie, and I loved the people I made the movie with.

Despite the critical reaction, he tells us that people, including filmmaker Tim Miller, who he worked on Deadpool with, have shown him support:

“He wrote me an email having empathy for a movie that doesn’t work,” said Kinberg. “[He wrote] people will come to see the movie differently, and out of the context of this particular moment, see things in it they will appreciate and that he appreciated as a fan.”

There is a part of me that feels for Kinberg; no one likes having a movie bomb, and no one likes having the same movie bomb twice, but as a fan and just someone who enjoys fun superhero movies, Dark Phoenix just misses the mark. It’s a shame, because Kinberg seems to have a lot of love for the characters and the universe, but it just doesn’t come through—at least, not for me and a lot of the other X-fans I’ve spoken to.

I can’t help but think of how the movie just failed to do anything special or interesting with its female roster again, and I just don’t think, despite his love for the characters, that he has managed to tap into what makes them so special.

“I love these characters. I love this world. I’ll be super excited to see what Marvel does with them.”

We are, too.

Kinberg was also asked if he was aware of former X-Men director Bryan Singer’s alleged misconduct:

“Not my business. Not something that I saw on set or in the workplace. Otherwise I would have felt like it was my business,” said Kinberg. “Those movies were complicated to make. They were oftentimes hard to make and oftentimes — this is not to excuse any behavior — sometimes they were really good. X-Men: Days of Future Past, the first X-Men movie I made with Bryan as a director, is my favorite of the X-Men movies, certainly that I’ve made.”

Who knows if time will be kinder to Dark Phoenix, but considering that The Last Stand has not become a cult classic in the past decade-plus since it was in theaters, I wouldn’t hold my breath that it would suddenly be considered an underrated gem. If anything, it’s just another reason to check out the comic series that it was all based on.

(via THR, image: Doane Gregory)

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Princess Weekes
Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.