Strange era for X-Men, among the first representatives of the wave of superheroes with X-Men of Bryan Singer in 2000, they experienced a first trilogy whose last album has since been denied , a wobbly trilogy spinoff around Wolverine who goes X -Men Origins: Wolverine to Logan , and a prequel rebirth with X-Men: The beginning , which revived the franchise to X-Men: Apocalypse . All this with a chronology and logic slightly confused .
But despite their popularity, X-Men films struggle to take off at the box office. Worse: Apocalypse has done far less than Days of Future Past (about $ 544 million worldwide, compared to nearly 748 million). And while the repurchase of the licenses of the Fox by Disney risks seriously shaking the universe, the next two opus have all the difficulties of the world to arrive.
On the one hand, X-Men: Dark Phoenix , whose release date went from November 2018 to February 2019, then recently June. The other, Les Nouveaux Mutants , which should have been released last April, before being stalled for February 2019, then August. In both cases, reshoots, rumors of deep changes, and messy communication – the release date of Dark Phoenix was changed right after the first trailer.
But Simon Kinberg wants to reassure. Writer and producer on the saga on X-Men, the final clash and the last opus, he will make his director’s debut on X-Men: Dark Phoenix , and wants to say that everything is going well behind the scenes.
At Collider , he explains the purpose of reshoots:
“We mainly focused on the third act, both from an emotional point of view and in terms of scale, and the action that was adjusted in this third act.” And then there were certain things in the first two acts of the film – very few things, but to install these changes in the third act, we had to adjust some elements in the first two, so that everything is fluid and consistent. ”
Simon Kinberg also reacts to the new release date, fallen without warning after the publication of the first trailer, which showed the date of February. What to imagine hasty decisions behind the scenes.
“On February 14, a date that was initially we liked for the film, and then we realized that the visuals were not going to be willing to release the film as desired. And the release date of Gambit s’ is released because it was not going to be ready for June 7. We looked at that date from February 14th, the studio did it and so did we, and we felt June was a bigger opportunity for we, from a global point of view, more screens, more IMAX screens, a better chance to succeed in China where these films are very well attended “.
If reshoots have become a norm for blockbusters , and are often included in the planning in principle, the issue of the release date is more interesting. This is the game of musical chairs for studios, which carefully avoid confronting or cannibalizing by releasing similar films on niches too close. Recently, Solo: A Star Wars Story has probably paid the price , being compressed between Avengers: Infinity War and Deadpool 2 .
What Kinberg mentions China once again recalls the importance of this market for blockbusters. And for X-Men , that makes sense: if the global box office of Apocalypse was much less brilliant than that of Days of Future Past , it had slightly better in China (more than 120 million, against 116). The 359.5 million cashed by Avengers: Infinity War out there are out of reach, but remain a nice carrot for the studios, who know that the public (especially American) can perfectly sulk a blockbuster and plunge into the abyss of the counted.
Knowing that X-Men: Apocalypse has garnered only 155 million domestic box office, even less than the 233 of Days of Future Past , there is clearly enough to understand why the studio relies on China.