Yahoo! Finance says that Disney released their Q3 earnings press release on Tuesday, which was their first full quarter since acquiring Fox. The X-Men franchise has made a lot of money for 20th Century Fox. Disney probably thought the first X-Men movie since their acquisition was going to dump more money into Scrooge McDuck’s swimming pool. Nope! Dark Phoenix actually took money out, not surprisingly.
Dark Phoenix’s production budget was about $200 million, and it brought in an estimated $14 million on opening night. Things didn’t get much better from there. Dark Phoenix made $252 million worldwide since its release two months ago (less than $66 million domestically and $186.5 million internationally). A production budget of $200 million doesn’t take into account marketing and promotion costs. Disney didn’t say how much they dumped into Dark Phoenix, but they did say they lost a lot of money and they blamed it on Jean Grey.
“Improvements were partially offset” by a loss for the 21st Century Fox (21CF) business. The loss was “driven by the performance of Dark Phoenix, for which we also recorded a film cost impairment,” Because of the film, the Fox studio business had a loss of $170 million in the quarter.
CEO Bob Iger said the Fox studio performance in the quarter “was well below where it had been and well below where we hoped it would be when we made the acquisition.”
The report also stated that Studio Entertainment revenue grew 33%, and profit for the division grew 13% (thanks to other Marvel properties, like Avengers: Endgame and Captain Marvel). Also, they don’t consider Dark Phoenix’s bombing as a reflection on themselves, because it’s a property they inherited with the acquisition.
Yahoo! mentions that Dark Phoenix came out just two weeks after the Game of Thrones finale, which also starred Sophie Turner. So anyone in publicity or marketing might have assumed that the buzz surrounding the end of Game of Thrones would have translated to superfans saying, “Oh, I miss her already! Thankfully I can see her again in Dark Phoenix this weekend.” But apparently that wasn’t even enough to get people out to see Dark Phoenix.
But you can’t fault Sophie. She was doing everything possible to keep her name in the news before and after the release of Dark Phoenix by getting married to Joe Jonas twice. What else could she have done? Held her second wedding at the premiere of Dark Phoenix on the red carpet? Replaced the end credits with footage from her engagement party? Having former Disney star Joe Jonas and his brothers record a new theme song for Dark Phoenix called “Girl, You Got Me Burning Up“? It’s all very shameless, and I’m sure Disney is kicking themselves now for not thinking of it.