Men in Black: International struggled mightily at the domestic box office, scoring the worst debut in the franchise. When the first Men in Black film came out in 1997, it was the latest in a string of blockbusters that demonstrated Will Smith's clout as a major movie star. Bolstered by positive reviews, the sci-fi action/comedy grossed a strong $589.4 million worldwide against a $90 million production budget. Unsurprisingly, that encouraged Sony to move forward with sequels, but the followups haven't been able to replicate the success of the standout original.
At the domestic box office, the franchise has seen diminishing returns. Men in Black II made $190.4 million, while MIB 3 grossed $179 million. Looking to give the property a shot in the arm, Sony decided to go the soft reboot route, recruiting Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson as a pair of new MIB agents who would save the world from the scum of the universe. Sadly, the results were not what the studio hoped. After Men in Black: International posted the series' worst Rotten Tomatoes score, the commercial numbers are equally unimpressive.
According to Box Office Mojo, Men in Black: International made $28.5 million domestically in its first three days. That is well below the debuts of the previous three movies, all of which made more than $50 million at the start. Worldwide, International stands at $102.2 million against its $110 million budget.
With this, Men in Black: International becomes the latest would-be summer tentpole to underwhelm at the multiplex. In previous weeks, Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Dark Phoenix also earned their respective franchises' all-time worst opening weekends. The common denominator between these three films is that none of them were a critical darling. The trio received mixed-to-negative reviews, which obviously hurt their box office prospects. Additionally, none of these properties have large enough followings to be considered critic-proof, making it difficult for bland and mediocre entries to draw in sizable crowds. Hollywood is in desperate need of a major hit, and they should get one next weekend with Toy Story 4. The latest from Pixar was projected to break opening records even before it received unanimous praise.
Circling back to Men in Black: International, it may be time for Sony to put this brand on ice and try to develop a new cash cow. With interest this low at the outset, it's highly unlikely the film will have any kind of legs in the U.S. Men in Black will need to get a significant boost from the international marketplace in order to become profitable. Historically, that's not an impossible feat to pull off, but Men in Black: International is going to need more help than most if it is to be salvaged - and with the one-two punch of Toy Story 4 and Spider-Man: Far From Home on the horizon, that help may not come.
Source: Box Office Mojo
- Men in Black International (2019) release date: Jun 14, 2019