Men in Black: International's latest box office projections are much worse than originally anticipated, and the film is poised to open below Dark Phoenix. Over the past few weeks, major studio tentpoles have struggled to draw in large crowds, making the wrong kind of history for their respective franchises. Godzilla: King of the Monsters debuted with $47.7 million domestically, while Dark Phoenix bombed with $32.8 million in its first three days. Fox's last X-Men film is now expected to lose at least $100 million.
Sony is hoping to give the summer marketplace a shot in the arm this week with the release of Men in Black: International. The film operates as a soft reboot of the series, swapping Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith for the dynamic duo of Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson. Despite the new blood, it doesn't look like the latest MIB is going to be much of a hit. Back in May, initial box office estimates pegged it for a $40 million debut, which would be a franchise worst. And now as the film lands in theaters, the prognosis is a bit darker than feared.
According to Box Office Pro, Men in Black: International is projected to earn $28 million domestically in its opening weekend. That would be well below the original three films in the MIB property (all of which made more than $50 million at the start) and worse than the aforementioned Dark Phoenix. For a movie that was hoping to launch more sequels, this is a bad development.
Of course, the comparison to Dark Phoenix isn't exactly apples-to-apples. The X-Men film was very expensive, sporting a production budget of $200 million. In contrast, Men in Black: International cost $110 million to make, the cheapest in the series. That means when compared to other genre films, its break even point isn't as high, but that doesn't make these estimates any easier to swallow for Sony. Men in Black has seen diminishing returns since the original premiered to acclaim in 1997, indicating audiences aren't all that enthused about returning to this world. Even though International pairs up Thor: Ragnarok co-stars Hemsworth and Thompson, the latest MIB isn't arriving to much fanfare, and the largely negative reviews aren't doing it any favors.
In all likelihood, Men in Black: International will go down as a misfire and won't have strong legs. Next weekend sees the release of the highly-anticipated Toy Story 4, which might have one of the biggest opening weekends of all-time (not just in animated films) with $200 million. There's also Spider-Man: Far From Home right around the corner, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe installment is generating positive buzz during its marketing campaign so far. Sony may need to look elsewhere for a viable cash cow, since it looks like Men in Black won't do the trick anymore.
Source: Box Office Pro
- Men in Black International (2019) release date: Jun 14, 2019