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Director Simon Kinberg Explains What Went Wrong With Dark Phoenix

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After many years as a producer and screenwriter of Hollywood blockbusters, Simon Kinberg finally made his directorial debut with Dark Phoenix, a film that fell well short of expectations—with critics and audiences alike. In a recent interview on KCRW’s The Business, he was asked what went wrong, and he accepted some responsibility, saying the film “clearly didn’t connect enough with audiences that did see it, so that’s on me.”

At the same time, Kinberg doesn’t accept all the blame. He also sees the film’s June release date as a major problem. “I always felt that we had a tough date for this particular movie,” he explained. “It wasn’t made as a classic superhero movie, it was made as more of a dramatic, intimate, smaller film. Originally, it was going to come out in November, then it was going to come out in February, and those were the dates that I felt like it actually would have felt more appropriate to.”

Although Kinberg insists that he “wouldn’t blame it on the weekend,” he continued blaming it on the weekend. Specifically, he thinks the film was hurt by its close proximity to Avengers: Endgame. “Coming out five, six weeks after what may well be the biggest movie or the second biggest movie in the history of cinema, that also happens to be also in the genre of superheroes, was tough for us, and I always anticipated that it was going to be tough to be in the tailwinds of that movie.”

Dark Phoenix is in theatres now. Check out the trailer below.