Before 20th Century FOX was sold off to Disney, the studio produced “Dark Phoenix,” with an all-star cast of new and returning characters from the X-Men franchise. Disney now holds the film rights to most of the X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises, allowing the characters to join their Marvel friends in the larger MCU, but before that, X-Men fans will still get to see this new installment when it hits theaters in June.
Simon Kinberg directed “Dark Phoenix,” which is based on the popular “Dark Phoenix Saga” storyline from the comics. The film features Sophie Turner, Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, Nicholas Hoult, Jessica Chastain, Michael Fassbender, Evan Peters, Tye Sheridan, Alexandra Shipp, and Kodi Smit-McPhee. FOX will officially release “Dark Phoenix” in theaters on June 7th, against Universal Pictures’ animated-comedy “The Secret Life of Pets 2.”
The “X-Men” franchise has been a consistent hit for 20th Century FOX over the years; the original trilogy helped to launch the “Wolverine” spinoff films, which were some of highest-grossing in the franchise. Bryan Singer directed the first “X-Men” film in 2000, the film opened with $54M and made over $296M worldwide. Singer returned to direct “X2: X-Men United” in 2003 and the sequel made $85M on opening weekend before grossing over $407M worldwide. Brett Ratner joined the franchise to finish the trilogy in 2006 and “X-Men: The Last Stand” made $102M on its debut before making over $459M globally. With the trilogy complete, Gavin Hood directed the first spinoff film, “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.” The spinoff made $85M on opening weekend and grossed over $373M worldwide. Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine character would then star in “The Wolverine” in 2013 and “Logan” in 2017.
After “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” FOX started on a new trilogy, starting with Matthew Vaughn’s “X-Men: First Class” in 2011. The new installment made $55M before grossing $353M globally. Bryan Singer returned to direct “X-Men: Days of Future Past” for the studio in 2014, a film that made $90M on opening weekend before making $747M worldwide. Singer returned one last time to direct “X-Men: Apocalypse” in 2016, a film that made $65M on its debut before making $543M for the studio.
Disney and Marvel have been keeping the next stage of the MCU a secret, but with so many new franchises coming into the mix, it would be surprising if Marvel didn’t add the Fantastic Four or the X-Men into the next story. Fans will have to wait a little longer to see which of the iconic characters will make the list at Marvel, as for now, you can watch the trailer for FOX’s fiery sendoff to the X-Men franchise below.
As we mentioned earlier, “Dark Phoenix” will battle “Life of Pets 2” on opening weekend, but the real battle will be the following week when “Men in Black International” with Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson hits theaters. That’s the same weekend that “Shaft” opens nationwide with Samuel L. Jackson, and it will be a difficult follow-up week for the X-Men to stay at number one. After that, there’s little hope for any film to remain at the top of the box office since Disney is releasing “Toy Story 4” in theaters against the new “Child’s Play” reboot with Aubrey Plaza.