X-Men: Dark Phoenix director Simon Kinberg takes blame for film's disastrous box office performance

Roisin O'Connor

X-Men: Dark Phoenix director Simon Kinberg has taken the blame for the film’s disastrous performance at the box office, which marked the worst opening for any X-Men movie.

The superhero movie starring Sophie Turner and James McAvoy took just $33 million (£26m) on its opening weekend, despite costing $200m (£157m) to make and featuring some of the biggest names in Hollywood among its cast.

Turner returned as Jean Grey following her debut in X-Men: Apocalypse opposite McAvoy’s Professor Charles Xavier, with Michael Fassbender as Magneto and Jennifer Lawrence as Raven / Mystique.

Despite this, the film severely underperformed at the box office and also received mostly negative reviews from critics, who complained that more focus had been paid to the CGI than to character development or plot.

“I’m here, I’m saying when a movie doesn’t work, put it on me,” Kinberg told KCRW. “I’m the writer-director, the movie didn’t connect with audiences, that’s on me.

“I actually really like the movie, [and] I had an amazing time making the movie,’ he continued, but added: “I mean honestly, there’s no way to know. And that’s the thing that I think can drive people crazy and keep them up and be thinking about a movie’s failure years later.

“If the lesson you’ve learned is that you had the wrong date or you didn’t have good marketing–that’s not a lesson.”