9:08am PT by Mia Galuppo
Box Office: 'Dark Phoenix' Flies to Mediocre $5M in Previews
X-Men: Dark Phoenix, the last film in the nearly two decade-long superhero franchise, kicked off its opening weekend with $5 million in ticket sales on Thursday night.
That preview number is respectable, coming in on the lower end of Thursday night earnings for summer 2019's other tentpole releases like John Wick 3 ($6 million) and Detective Pikachu ($5.7 million). But, Dark Phoenix's Thursday ticket sales failed to rise to the level of the earnings of the other X-Men installments, like 2016's Apocalypse ($8.2 million) and 2014's Days of Future Past ($8.1 million).
Longtime X-Men writer and producer Simon Kinberg makes his directorial debut with Dark Phoenix, which sees Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) turn into her evolved form, with newfound powers that tear the team apart.
The installment, the first X-Men movie released by Disney, will expand to 3,700 theaters this weekend.
Illumination and Universal's The Secret Life of Pets 2 dug up $2.3 million from 3,250 theaters in Thursday night screenings, before expanding this weekend onto 4,561 screens.
The respectable preview numbers are comparable with other recent Illumination release, Dr. Seuss’s The Grinch, which earned $2.2 million on its Thursday night release and would go on to bow to $67.5 million.
While Pets is expected to win the weekend, it will come in under the massive earnings of the first film in the franchise, which grossed $5.3 million in Thursday night previews in 2016. The original Pets went on to earn $104.3 million in its opening weekend and still holds the record for the highest-grossing opening ever for an original film.
Tiffany Haddish, Kevin Hart, Harrison Ford, Jenny Slate and Patton Oswalt voice star as a menagerie of family pets that get into various types of mischief while their owners are away.