'Dark Phoenix' is the worst-reviewed 'X-Men' movie of all time, but the international box office could save it

Fox‘Dark Phoenix.’
  • “Dark Phoenix” has the worst Rotten Tomatoes score of any “X-Men” movie ever, but if the franchise trend continues, that might not matter when it comes to box-office performance.
  • Outside of three titles (the first two “X-Men” releases and “X-Men: The Last Stand”), every other “X-Men” release has made more money internationally than it did domestically.
  • It has likely played a major factor in the length of the franchise.
  • And if “Dark Phoenix” does the same, it may make Disney (the new owner of the intellectual property following its acquisition of Fox) have to speed up its plans to release future titles in the franchise.
  • Here’s a breakdown of how all nine “X-Men” movies have performed at the international box office.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

With a 21% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, “Dark Phoenix,” the 10th movie in the “X-Men” franchise, is the worst-reviewed movie in the 20-year history of theatrical releases of the Marvel characters.

The general thinking is that it’s finally time to take a break from these superheroes, especially seeing as they are now owned by Disney following the studio’s acquisition of Fox (which had the rights to the intellectual property) and it will take time to implement them into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

But that might not be so easy if the box office for “Dark Phoenix” continues the trend of the franchise.

Though audiences (and critics) domestically have “X-Men” fatigue, internationally it’s a different story.

Outside of three “X-Men” movies, the rest have performed better internationally than domestically. That’s a huge reason why a studio will continue a franchise – it’s why “Terminator” movies keep getting made. With the production budgets of most of these movies at more than $US100 million (only two, “X-Men” and “Logan,” were under that mark), international sales play a big part in making money off the IP.

If “Dark Phoenix” does the same, it may force Disney to speed up plans to get another “X-Men” movie out to moviegoers (or actually release “The New Mutants” in 2020, the current release date for the next title, which has been delayed to theatres numerous times).

Here’s a breakdown of the international box-office grosses for the nine “X-Men” movies, from worst to best. (We’ve intentionally left the “Deadpool” movies off the list; don’t worry, he won’t mind.)

Note: All grosses are taken from Box Office Mojo.


“X-Men” (2000) — $US139 million

Fox

Domestic: $US157.2 million

Budget: $US75 million

Rotten Tomatoes score: 81%


“X2: X-Men United” (2003) — $US192.7 million

Fox

Domestic: $US214.9 million

Budget: $US110 million

Rotten Tomatoes score: 85%


“X-Men Origins: Wolverine” (2009) — $US193.1 million

Fox

Domestic: $US179.8 million

Budget: $US150 million

Rotten Tomatoes score: 37%


“X-Men: First Class” (2011) — $US207.2 million

Domestic: $US146.4 million

Budget: $US160 million

Rotten Tomatoes score: 86%


“X-Men: The Last Stand” (2006) — $US224.9 million

Fox

Domestic: $US234.3 million

Budget: $US210 million

Rotten Tomatoes score: 58%


“The Wolverine” (2013) — $US282.2 million

Fox

Domestic: $US132.5 million

Budget: $US120 million

Rotten Tomatoes score: 71%


“X-Men: Apocalypse” (2016) — $US388.4 million

20th Century Fox

Domestic: $US155.4 million

Budget: $US178 million

Rotten Tomatoes score: 47%


“Logan” (2017) — $US392.7 million

Fox

Domestic: $US226.2 million

Budget: $US97 million

Rotten Tomatoes score: 93%


“X-Men: Days of Future Past” (2014) — $US513.9 million

Fox

Domestic: $US233.9 million

Budget: $US200 million

Rotten Tomatoes score: 90%

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.