A new report from Variety regarding the behind-the-scenes drama of Disney’s 20th Century Fox takeover contains all kinds of bombshells about the business matter. Among others, there’s the apparent fact that executives are “unimpressed” with the long-delayed X-Men spin-off The New Mutants, as well as their struggle to add the R-rated Deadpool to Marvel Studios’ decidedly more PG-13 fare. Yet one of the more alarming (and nefarious) suggestions in Variety‘s story concerns Dark Phoenix, a film Disney blames for its “so-so” quarterly revenues.
According to the report, Dark Phoenix‘s poor box office performance, which director Simon Kinberg has previously blamed on himself, may actually be the fault of Disney. That’s because Fox’s new parent company decided to fire the film’s marketing team ahead of its premiere:
Disney largely ignored Dark Phoenix after it acquired 20th Century in March, according to sources. The marketing team familiar with the film was laid off, and Disney did not spend as aggressively to promote the release. One insider says that the film’s lone premiere in Los Angeles was done with an eye to controlling cost — a bit of economizing that annoyed the film’s creative team.
Unsurprisingly, neither Disney nor anyone affiliated with the Dark Phoenix production was willing to comment publicly on these claims. But hey, since the X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises are both back at Marvel Studios, fanboys should be totally happy with all of the Disney/Fox merger job losses, right?