DARK PHOENIX Receives The Lowest CinemaScore From Moviegoers In The Franchise's History

DARK PHOENIX Receives The Lowest CinemaScore From Moviegoers In The Franchise's History DARK PHOENIX Receives The Lowest CinemaScore From Moviegoers In The Franchise's History

The hits keep on coming for Dark Phoenix as the worst-reviewed, lowest opening instalment of Fox's X-Men franchise has also been rejected by moviegoers based on its CinemaScore. Read on for details!

By JoshWilding - Jun 09, 2019 06:06 AM EST
Filed Under: Dark Phoenix
Is Simon Kinberg's career as a director over before it's even begun? Well, not only is Dark Phoenix the worst-reviewed instalment of the X-Men franchise among critics but it now appears as if regular moviegoers agree that it's simply not a good movie. As you can see below, it has a CinemaScore of B- which is lower than every other instalment of the franchise. 

X-Men Origins: Wolverine managed to get a B+, while X-Men: Apocalypse and X-Men: The Last Stand received A- scores. The highest rated X-Men movies are X2: X-Men United and X-Men: Days of Future Past, both of which nabbed an A. 

Interestingly, the current Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes is 65% based on over 4,100 verified reviews. That's quite a contrast to the 23% on the Tomatometer.

Ultimately, an argument could be made that none of this matters because Marvel Studios is rebooting the X-Men franchise and new versions of the characters will soon arrive in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, the current version of the franchise has definitely gone out on a sour note and it won't be easy for anyone involved to recover from this especially after that opening weekend.

Have you seen Dark Phoenix yet?

We watched Dark Phoenix so you don't have to! Find a
breakdown of spoilers by clicking the "View List" button below!

Jean Grey's Origin Story


The movie kicks off with a flashback to Jean Grey's childhood and, well, the lesson here is that you should always let your child listen to what they want on the radio! Sick of her parents' taste in music, Jean inadvertently uses her newly emerged powers to change the station and is suddenly overwhelmed to the point where she knocks her mother out and causes the car to crash. 

Jean is unharmed, and then meets Charles Xavier who promptly recruits her to join his school.

Later on in the movie, the "big" twist comes when we learn that while her mother died, Jean's father is still alive. However, he told Professor X to take her away as he couldn't deal with what she'd done and this revelation (which really doesn't seem like that big of a deal) is what pushes her over the edge.



Before that happens, though, we get to see the X-Men travel into outer space. Despite the fact that Hank told Charles that the X-Jet isn't suited for that journey, it somehow still has oxygen in it for them to breathe while they attempt to rescue a number of astronauts. 

Jean holds their ship together while Nightcrawler rescues the Captain and uses her powers to redirect a huge cloud of energy (Galactus style, baby) into herself to save her teammates. She manages to survive this and is taken back to Earth where it's revealed that her power levels are off the charts. 

Despite us seeing Jean become Phoenix in X-Men: Apocalypse, this cloud is identified as a cosmic force and seemingly the actual Phoenix, which obviously makes absolutely no sense. 

The D'Bari


It's not made entirely clear whether Jessica Chastain's shapeshifting alien is part of this race, but the aliens she works with throughout the course of Dark Phoenix are identified as the D'Bari. In the comics, their planet was destroyed by the Phoenix Force during "The Dark Phoenix Saga" and they now want to make Earth their new home by unleashing that power themselves. 

As for why Chastain's unnamed character looks the way she does, it's because she lands on Earth and stumbles across a woman hosting a party whose identity she then decides to randomly adopt.

Mystique's Death


Mystique expresses her frustrations with Charles for embracing the fame that's come with leading the X-Men (they're now celebrated by the public and he has a direct line with the President) and wants to leave the team alongside Beast after discovering the way he lied to Jean. 

However, with Jean losing control and setting off to find the father she thought was dead, the X-Men confront her at her family home. As Raven tries to talk her down, Charles uses his powers to stop Beast from hitting Jean with a tranquilliser and when she once again loses control, the shape-shifting mutant winds up being impaled on a fence. What a way to go! 

Anyway, she then dies in Beast's arms, and he's understandably furious with the Professor.



Magneto's new home is never referred to by name but it's clearly meant to be Genosha, as it's an island given to the mutants by the government. However, it ends up just being a field with a couple of huts and is hardly the impressive utopia from the comic books.

Jean visits Erik, causes a stir with the military, and is then told to leave. 

Later, Beast arrives and tells Magneto that Jean is responsible for killing Raven, something that leads to an unexpected team-up between them as they agree to take her down once and for all. 

The Alien's Plan


Alien (what else are we going to call her?) tracks down Jean and manages to explain what she hopes to use the mutant's newfound powers for. The villain was pursuing the Phoenix Force - which is never referred to as such - throughout the cosmos in the hope of using it to reignite the planet it destroyed, and she explains to Jean that she can now do that...she just has to kill all of her friends. 

That really doesn't make much sense, but nothing about this character does to be perfectly honest!

Battle In New York


The X-Men learn that Magneto's Brotherhood (well, him, Beast, and two random mutants with a handful of lines between them) is heading to New York to kill Jean and what follows is a surprisingly cool battle between the characters. Sadly, none of them are in costume and that's bound to disappoint fans. 

Charles ultimately manages to get a face to face with Jean, but only after she comically uses her powers to make him "walk" up the stairs in the building she's staying in. Seconds before she kills him, he manages to remind her of the conversation they had years before and that's when Alien suggests she transfer the Phoenix into her. 

This process will kill Jean, though, and when Charles realises that the villain simply wants to wipe out all life on Earth to make it her own, he manages to get Cyclops to stop her. Unfortunately, all of the team is then captured by the government and put on a train to a mutant internment camp. 

An Epic Final Battle


The aliens attack the train and what follows is an awesome, action-packed battle between them and the X-Men. Highlights include Nightcrawler teleporting one of them in front of the moving train, Magneto using dozens of guns against Alien, and Cyclops finally being something of a badass. 

Ultimately, it comes down to just Alien and Jean and the train then derails for the final confrontation between these two as the X-Woman uses her powers to turn the attacking bad guys to ash. 

Jean Vs. Alien


Alien once again tries to take the Phoenix Force from Jean, but fails horribly and is flown into space by the hero where they both vanish in a fiery explosion. There's no tearful goodbye with Scott but she does nod at Charles before leaving and, well, that's it. 

The shape of the Phoenix is left in the aftermath, but it's the shot we saw in that trailer where it transitioned into the title so it doesn't have a particularly lasting impact as it's already been shown.

The Closing Montage


Dark Phoenix immediately jumps into a closing montage where we see Scott Summers rename the the school after Jean Grey, Quicksilver is hanging around after presumably being left comatose after that early battle with the Phoenix, and Beast is now the headmaster with an almost comical looking promotional photo of Mystique on his desk. 

Charles, meanwhile, has retired and is now living in Paris, France and looking rather miserable. 

It's then that Magneto appears and offers him a new home and a game of chess. Charles seemingly accepts and as the camera pans up to the sky, we see the Phoenix flying overhead. Jean lives!

Continue reading below for a recap of how
every X-Men movie compares on Rotten Tomatoes!

X-Men (2000)


Critics Score: 81%
Audience Score: 83%
Certified Fresh? Yes
Critics Consensus: Faithful to the comics and filled with action, X-Men brings a crowded slate of classic Marvel characters to the screen with a talented ensemble cast and surprisingly sharp narrative focus.

X-2: X-Men United (2003)


Critics Score: 85%
Audience Score: 85%
Certified Fresh? Yes
Critics Consensus: Tightly scripted, solidly acted, and impressively ambitious, X2: X-Men United is bigger and better than its predecessor -- and a benchmark for comic sequels in general.

X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)


Critics Score: 58%
Audience Score: 61%
Certified Fresh? No
Critics Consensus: X-Men: The Last Stand provides plenty of mutant action for fans of the franchise, even if it does so at the expense of its predecessors' deeper character moments.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)


Critics Score: 37%
Audience Score: 58%
Certified Fresh? No
Critics Consensus: Though Hugh Jackman gives his all, he can't help X-Men Origins: Wolverine overcome a cliche-ridden script and familiar narrative.

X-Men: First Class (2011)


Critics Score: 86%
Audience Score: 87%
Certified Fresh? Yes
Critics Consensus: With a strong script, stylish direction, and powerful performances from its well-rounded cast, X-Men: First Class is a welcome return to form for the franchise.

The Wolverine (2013)


Critics Score: 71%
Audience Score: 69%
Certified Fresh? No
Critics Consensus: Although its final act succumbs to the usual cartoonish antics, The Wolverine is one superhero movie that manages to stay true to the comics while keeping casual viewers entertained.

X-Men: Days Of Future Past (2014)


Critics Score: 90%
Audience Score: 91%
Certified Fresh? Yes
Critics Consensus: X-Men: Days of Future Past combines the best elements of the series to produce a satisfyingly fast-paced outing that ranks among the franchise's finest installments.

Deadpool (2016)


Critics Score: 84%
Audience Score: 90%
Certified Fresh? Yes
Critics Consensus: Fast, funny, and gleefully profane, the fourth-wall-busting Deadpool subverts superhero film formula with wildly entertaining -- and decidedly non-family-friendly -- results.

X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)


Critics Score: 47%
Audience Score: 65%
Certified Fresh? No
Critics Consensus: Overloaded action and a cliched villain take the focus away from otherwise strong performers and resonant themes, making X-Men: Apocalypse a middling chapter of the venerable superhero franchise.

Logan (2017)


Critics Score: 93%
Audience Score: 90%
Certified Fresh? Yes
Critics Consensus: Hugh Jackman makes the most of his final outing as Wolverine with a gritty, nuanced performance in a violent but surprisingly thoughtful superhero action film that defies genre conventions.

Deadpool 2 (2018)


Critics Score: 83%
Audience Score: 85%
Certified Fresh? Yes
Critics Consensus: Though it threatens to buckle under the weight of its meta gags, Deadpool 2 is a gory, gleeful lampoon of the superhero genre buoyed by Ryan Reynolds' undeniable charm.

Once Upon A Deadpool (2018)


Critics Score: 51%
Audience Score: 50%
Certified Fresh? No
Critics Consensus: Once Upon a Deadpool retains enough of the franchise's anarchic spirit to entertain, but doesn't add enough to Deadpool 2 to justify its own existence.

Dark Phoenix (2019)


Critics Score: 17%
Audience Score: TBA
Certified Fresh? N/A
Critics Consensus: Dark Phoenix ends an era of the X-Men franchise by taking a second stab at adapting a classic comics arc -- with deeply disappointing results.

How They Stack Up


13. Dark Phoenix
12. X-Men Origins: Wolverine
11. X-Men: Apocalypse
10. Once Upon A Deadpool
9. X-Men: The Last Stand
8. The Wolverine
7. X-Men
6. Deadpool 2
5. Deadpool
4. X2: X-Men United
3. X-Men: First Class
2. X-Men: Days of Future Past
1. Logan
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Simon Kinberg Reflects On How To Properly Tell The DARK PHOENIX Saga For Film Or Television

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giannis - 6/9/2019, 6:55 AM
I wanted to see it, but everything tells otherwise. I'll wait for it once it's available on Blu-ray.
GoldGuy - 6/9/2019, 6:56 AM
Uh oh. It's gonna have bad legs.
Typobutcorrect - 6/9/2019, 7:04 AM

AwesomePromoz - 6/9/2019, 7:05 AM
OmegaDaGrodd - 6/9/2019, 7:09 AM
"The critics were too harsh"
DoubleD - 6/9/2019, 7:11 AM
Two Floppers in a row.

First Godzilla King of Monsters and now Dark Phoenix.

The Summer of 2019 is the year of big disappointments so far. Except for a few hits like Captain Marvel, Endgame, Aladdin, etc.
regularmovieguy - 6/9/2019, 7:14 AM

Captain Marvel didn’t come out in the summer
DoubleD - 6/9/2019, 7:19 AM
@regularmovieguy - Gee thanks like I didn't know that. I had go back to find movies I liked.
DoubleD - 6/9/2019, 7:22 AM
@regularmovieguy - Avengers Endgame isn't a Summer movie either.
regularmovieguy - 6/9/2019, 7:54 AM

Lol then half of your OP is wrong 😂
regularmovieguy - 6/9/2019, 7:55 AM
“Gee thanks like I didn't know that.”

“The Summer of 2019 is the year of big disappointments so far. Except for a few hits like Captain Marvel, Endgame, Aladdin, etc.”

DoubleD - 6/9/2019, 8:02 AM
@regularmovieguy - Yawn your just to busy trying to embarrass me. Good luck with that. YAWN !!!
regularmovieguy - 6/9/2019, 8:07 AM

lmao all I said was CM wasn’t a summer movie and then you added that Endgame isn’t one either.

“Good luck with that. YAWN !!!”

You kind of did it to yourself, bud. Either way it’s not a big deal 😂

DoubleD - 6/9/2019, 8:30 AM
@regularmovieguy - You really need to get a life :)

Do you know why people like you don't bother me ? I have a life this SH!T at CBM means nothing to me. Keep trying !
DoubleD - 6/9/2019, 8:42 AM
@regularmovieguy - Great idea for you. Why don't you spend the day reading all my post and look for my spelling errors.
regularmovieguy - 6/9/2019, 9:11 AM

Haha are you having a bad day or something?? 😂

Wasn’t a spelling error just a content error. The only summer movie you listed was Aladdin.

Either way (like I said) it’s not a big deal. You’re a funny dude, tho.
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