For all X-Men fans out there wondering how in the world could Dark Phoenix bomb so spectacularly – and are itching to blame a non-mutant – you’ve got your man.
The movie’s writer and first-time director Simon Kinberg admits its box office failure was all “on me”.
The movie, which had opened to a mere US$33 million (S$45million) in the US and ignored by critics, “didn’t connect with audiences that didn’t see it (and) didn’t connect enough with audiences that did see it,” he told KCRW’s The Business. “So that’s on me.”
There had been a few theories on why Dark Phoenix – with a roster of familiar characters and heroes including James McAvoy as Professor X, Michael Fassbender as Magneto and fresh-off-Game Of Thrones’ Sophie Turner as Dark Phoenix – failed. It ranges from release dates being moved a few times to ignoring the warning signs of 2016’s lukewarm Apocalypse to simply there having been X-Men fatigue.
Despite all that, Kinberg, who had been a writer for three other X-Men movies, said he had liked working on it.
“I loved making the movie, and I loved the people I made the movie with,” he said.
Kinberg also shared how industry colleagues reached out to console him after what happened, including Deadpool’s Tim Miller, with whom he worked as a producer.
In the interview, he was also asked about ex-X-Men director Bryan Singer’s sexual misconduct allegations. Kinberg had worked with him on Days Of Future Past and Apocalypse.
“Not my business. Not something that I saw on set or in the workplace. Otherwise I would have felt like it was my business,” he said.
“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.”
He’s still not done with the X-Men, though. Kinberg is still involved in the The New Mutants, the last X-Men movie before Marvel comes in, which is scheduled for 2020.
“I love these characters. I’ll be super excited to see what Marvel does with them,” he said.