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Box Office: ‘Dark Phoenix’ Falling Short of Weekend Estimates With Under $40 Million

It looks like Disney’s “X-Men: Dark Phoenix” won’t be rising from the ashes anytime soon.

According to Friday’s early estimates, the 12th and final installment in the Marvel-owned franchise is heading for a disappointing $37.7 million opening weekend, after a lackluster Friday showing. Originally, Disney estimated a start between $40 million and $50 million which would have already ranked the film as one of the franchise’s lowest openings.

Also opening this weekend is Universal-Illumination’s “Secret Life of Pets 2,” which should pull around $48.5 million following $17 million in Friday grosses. The numbers are close to early predictions for the film, which estimated a $50 million to $55 million opening. However, it will likely fall short of its predecessor, which opened to a surprise $104 million its opening weekend and holds the record for the biggest opening weekend ever for an original film.

“Dark Phoenix” is the first X-Men film to be distributed by Disney and a direct sequel to 2016’s “X-Men: Apocalypse,” which bowed with $65 million and went on to earn $543 million in ticket sales worldwide. In comparison, “Dark Phoenix” will likely finish Friday with only $15 million, following a $5 million showing on Thursday night.

Contributing to the film’s less than stellar opening are a spate of poor reviews — currently 23% on Rotten Tomatoes. With a hefty $200 million price tag, international returns will have to be stellar to help maintain profitability.

The Secret Life of Pets 2” is opening with a smaller but still sizable $80 million budget alongside an all-star voice cast including Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish, Jenny Slate and Patton Oswalt, who replaced Louis C.K. after the comedian was removed from the film following allegations of sexual misconduct. Chris Meledandri and longtime collaborator Janet Healy produced alongside director Chris Renaud and screenwriter Brian Lynch.

Likely to come in third this weekend is Disney’s live-action film “Aladdin,” which is set to finish its third weekend with a projected $24.7 million. Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich produced “Aladdin,” which has generated mixed reviews from critics, earning a 56% score on Rotten Tomatoes.

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