'Dark Phoenix' could lose as much as £98 million
The bad news keeps rolling in for X-Men: Dark Phoenix – with reports that it could end up losing Fox an eye-watering $125 million (around £98 million).
The movie is already riding pretty lacklustre reviews, but now disappointing turnouts worldwide could spell disaster for the last movie in the current X-Men series.
Over the weekend, it took a disastrous $33 million (£26m) in the US, the lowest ever opening for an X-Men film from Fox.
Read more: Chaos behind-the-scenes on X-Men
Its overseas haul was an equally worrisome $107 million (£84m), making $140 million (£110m) in total so far, including a disappointingly low $45.7 million (£36m) in China, compounded by the fact that there is a public holiday in the world's second biggest movie market.
After production costs and advertising expenses, it's thought that director Simon Kinberg's movie cost over $350 million (£275m), including reshoots.
And in opening to $140 million, it's down significantly on predecessors like X-Men: Days of Future Past, which opened to $262.9 million (£207m), Logan ($247.4 million/£195m) and even the roundly disliked X-Men: Apocalypse, which opened to $166.6 million (£131m).
Even that movie managed a 47 percent approval score on Rotten Tomatoes – Dark Phoenix has just 23 percent.
The Washington Post wrote that the franchise sends the current crop of X-Men off 'with a whimper, not a bang'.
Read more: Dark Phoenix is getting panned
So it's now not inconceivable, given the bad reviews and slow but sure diminishing returns of the series, that it could end up making under $300 million (£236m) by the end of its run.
But things could have been different – according to Deadline, Dark Phoenix was originally supposed to be two movies, but the studio changed its mind, compressing the story into one.
Whether this harmed the story or made it all a merciful one bomb situation rather than two, we may never know.
The movie finds Sophie Turner as Jean Grey (widely praised for her performance by critics) going rogue, becoming the Dark Phoenix and threatening the future of the universe.
Also starring James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Tye Sheridan, Alexandra Shipp, and Jessica Chastain, it's out now across the UK.