Dark Phoenix: Writer-Director Simon Kinberg Takes Responsibility for Failure

Writer-director Simon Kinberg is taking full responsibility for th artistiv and comercial failure of his directing debut, Dark Phoenix.

Dark Phoenix earned only $33 million stateside, a dismal showing for the final installment of Fox’s otherwise successful X-Men franchise.

What went wrong? Who is to blame? Among the reasons mentioned:

Kinberg’s creative team took the wrong lessons from 2016’s Apocalypse.

There is X-Men fatigue in the theatrical marketplace.

Release date: The film was originally supposed to open in November 2018, but then was moved to February before landing in June.

Kinberg acknowledges some of these factors, but ultimately, he puts the blame on himself.  “It clearly is a movie that didn’t connect with audiences that didn’t see it, it didn’t connect enough with audiences that did see it. So that’s on me,” Kinberg told Masters.

Kinberg noted it was not painful for him to reflect on Dark Phoenix *which opened June 7) so soon after the bomb, because he genuinely likes the movie.

“I loved making the movie, and I loved the people I made the movie with,” said Kinberg.

Kinberg takes solace in a conversation held with Ridley Scott, when they worked together on The Martian. Scott singled out G.I. Jane as the favorite movie that he’s worked on, even though it’s not considered one of his classics, like Alien, Blade Runner, Thelma & Louise or Gladiator.

“He said it was his favorite because it was just a great process and he learned a lot on the process of making it.  I’ve thought about that a lot over the years, and I thought about it a whole lot over the last weekend.”

After Dark Phoenix’s disappointing debut, Kinberg received emails of support from colleagues in the industry, including filmmaker Tim Miller, with whom he had worked on the first Deadpool movie.

“He wrote me an email having empathy for a movie that doesn’t work,” said Kinberg. “He wrote people will come to see the movie differently, and out of the context of this particular moment, see things in it they will appreciate and that he appreciated as a fan.”

The X-Men franchise has had many troubles in the past.  Director Bryan Singer, recently under fire for many reasons, disappeared for a while, forcing Kinberg to to take over directorial duties on the Apocalypse installment.