'Men in Black: International' has the worst opening ever for the franchise with just $28.5 million

Sony‘Men in Black: International.’
  • Sony’s “Men in Black: International” scored the lowest opening weekend in the franchise’s history with an estimated $US28.5 million.
  • It’s the third-straight weekend that a sequel had a poor opening at the domestic box office.
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Studios are learning this summer that audiences have no time for their tired franchises.

This weekend it’s Sony that’s taking the lumps as “Men in Black: International,” the first “MIB” movie in seven years, opened with a franchise-low $US28.5 million at the domestic box office.

The first “Men in Black” in 1997 previously had the lowest opening with $US51 million, but back then that was really good. In fact, if you count inflation, that would be a $US100 million opening today.

The $US28.5 million performance, though number one at the domestic box office for the weekend, is below Sony’s $US30 million opening weekend projection, which most felt was a little too ambitious seeing how the weekend was shaping out.

The movie’s Thursday preview screenings (even starting them at 4 p.m.) only brought in $US3.1 million. On Friday, the movie only brought in $US10.4 million on over 4,200 screens. The movie had a global total over the weekend of $US102.2 million.

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Sony thought it had built some padding around the relaunch of the franchise with its $US110 million budget, less than half the budget of “Men in Black 3” in 2012. But even the fun tandem of Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson playing the agents didn’t grab audiences or critics. The movie had a franchise-low 24% Rotten Tomatoes score.

If a sequel failing at the box office sounds like a familiar story this summer, that’s because it’s on its way to becoming a trend.

This marks the third straight weekend where a sequel has crashed at the domestic box office. First, Warner Bros.’ “Godzilla: King of the Monsters,” underperformed. Then last weekend Disney/Fox’s “Dark Phoenix” was an epic fail for the X-Men franchise, taking in only $US32.8 million. The first ever in the 20-year franchise not to have at least a $US50 million opening. And now “Men in Black: International” is added to the list.

Thankfully Disney/Pixar will be hitting the multiplex next weekend with the anticipated “Toy Story 4.”

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