Sony's Men in Black reboot may not get off to the best start as Men in Black: International is projected to have the lowest opening weekend in franchise history. It has been seven years since the Men in Black franchise has been in theaters, and Sony is hoping to rejuvenate interest in it with a soft reboot. Former franchise stars Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones are not returning after starring in their own successful trilogy, which will result in Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson stepping into the spotlight.
The two new stars had already shared the same screen before, as they were the centerpieces of Thor: Ragnarok. The seventeenth movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe became a major box office hit, grossing over $850 million worldwide. After seeing these results, Sony moved quickly to pair Hemsworth and Thompson back up for a new sci-fi franchise. They undoubtedly are hoping that the MCU stars and brand recognition of Men in Black will translate to more financial success, but the early numbers point to a slower start than desired.
According to tracking provided by Deadline, with three weeks to go until the film's theatrical release, Men in Black: International is projected to have a $40 million opening weekend domestically. While this would currently be a top 10 opening weekend of the year, this would also be the lowest in franchise history. All three of the previous films opened to more than $50 million domestically, with MIB 3 currently being the highest opening with $54M.
A franchise low opening is not what any studio is hoping for when it comes to a new hopeful franchise starter. What could make this even more concerning for Sony is the dwindling returns Men in Black has shown domestically. The first film was a huge hit, grossing over $250M stateside, but they've seen that number decrease in each subsequent film, with MIB 3 topping out at $179M. If Men in Black: International does get a $40M opening, it could struggle to surpass that number.
The potential good news for Sony, though, is that the domestic box office isn't the only one that matters. International markets continue to grow, and since MIB 3 grossed $624M worldwide despite a franchise low domestic haul, the reboot could still become a hit even if it stumbles domestically. Plus, there is still time to get people more excited about the movie. The eventual reviews could give Men in Black: International a boost if they are favorable. That is not a guarantee, though, so the box office and franchise potential for Men in Black: International will only become a bigger story as the release date nears.
- Men in Black International (2019) release date: Jun 14, 2019