June gloom has officially spread to the U.S. box office.
According to Friday’s grosses, this weekend’s two biggest releases – “The Secret Life of Pets 2” and “X-Men: Dark Phoenix” – are falling short of expectations, but it’s “Dark Phoenix” that’s flaming out the worst.
Disney-Fox’s latest installment in the X-Men franchise is on pace for a $34 million opening after collecting just $14 million on Friday, which would make it the worst debut ever for an X-Men movie (“The Wolverine” debuted to $53 million in 2013).
Still, the Simon Kinberg-directed “Phoenix” has yet to bow internationally, where the franchise has excelled in the past, but with a $200 million price tag and mostly poor reviews (20% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes), it will need some kind of box office mutation overseas. “Dark Phoenix,” the seventh and final project in the main “X-Men” series, stars Sophie Turner, Jessica Chastain, Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy, and is currently playing in 3,721 locations.
This weekend’s top dog (and cat), is “The Secret Life of Pets 2.” The animated sequel from Illumination will easily finish no. 1 with a three-day tally of $46.1 million – that’s almost 15% lower than original projections, but it’s still solid, not to mention a far cry from the STX’s “Ugly Dolls” disaster.
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“Godzilla: King of the Monsters” fell nearly 70% in its second frame to $14.7 million, a sharp descent for Warner Bros. and Legendary’s monster pic, which opened to no. 1 last weekend with $47.7 million.
Disney’s “Aladdin” is holding steady in third with $24 million.
Paramount’s “Rocketman” rounds out the top five with $12.6 million, bringing its 7-day domestic total to nearly $50 million.
Despite an off-weekend for Disney with “Dark Phoenix” – which, in all fairness, was produced by Fox pre-Disney’s acquisition -the studio should bounce back June 21 when “Toy Story 4” opens.