Box Office: ‘Men In Black International’ Leads Weak Bunch Of Debuts

1. Men in Black International (review)- $28.5M
The popular Thor: Ragnarok combo of Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson was enough to reach $28.5M for Men in Black International, the fourth film in the sci-fi/comedy franchise and first without either Will Smith or Tommy Lee Jones. Let’s be honest, the drop in star power was a huge factor in this. Smith and Jones personified these movies for years and they both can still skyrocket a box office, while Hemsworth and Thompson can’t make a dime outside of Marvel. That’s just straight-up truth. So the expectations were lower and that’s what was delivered. Worldwide it has still managed to tally $102M, but that’s against a $110M budget.
2. The Secret Life of Pets 2– $23.8M/$92M
3. Aladdin– $16.7M/$263.4M
Disney’s live-action Aladdin has bucked the naysayers on its way to $724M worldwide. Despite the doubts people had about Guy Ritichie directing and Will Smith starring as Genie, audiences around the world were clearly both curious and satisfied enough for repeat viewings.
4. Dark Phoenix– $9M/$51.7M
Fox/Disney’s Dark Phoenix fell into a black hole in its second weekend, dropping 72%(!!!) and earning just $9M. Friday saw the final X-Men movie crash to Earth by a whopping 83%. That’s the biggest second-week tumble ever for a major comic book movie (Steel and Dylan Dogg don’t count they’re so tiny), and it looks to do considerably worse than 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand which told the same story but made $234M domestic and $459M worldwide. Dark Phoenix has just $204M globally and isn’t likely to go much further at this rate. Think Disney will give the Dark Phoenix Saga a go just one more time? Probably not.
5. Rocketman– $8.8M/$66.1M
6. Shaft (review)- $8.3M
Three generations of Shaft (more Shaft than you can handle!) was enough for an $8.3M debut for the action-comedy, a sequel to 2000’s reboot which was a soft sequel to the classic 1971 movie. This film reunites the O.G. Shaft, Richard Roundtree, with Samuel L. Jackson, while Independence Day Resurgence‘s Jessie Usher joins as the millennial version of the famously tough private eye. The 2000 movie opened with $21M on its way to $107M globally, but this one was never going to reach those heights. People don’t flock to these kind of R-rated movies the way they used to, although they sure did to see Jackson in The Hitman’s Bodyguard. So maybe it’s confusion over what this take on the character would be. It certainly doesn’t resemble ANY of the prior movies, and that could’ve turned off fans who like their John Shaft a little more street.
7. Godzilla: King of the Monsters– $8.1M/$93.6M
8. John Wick: Chapter 3-Parabellum– $6.1M/$148.6M
9. Late Night (review)- $5.1M/$5.4M
Leaping into the top 10 is Amazon Studios comedy Late Night, which stars Mindy Kaling as the lone female writer on a late night talk show hosted by Emma Thompson. Unfortunately “leaping” is not an indicator of success, only that it was boosted into wide release. The well-reviewed film was one of my favorites at Sundance, which is why Amazon plunked down a whopping $13M to acquire it. While the $5.1M weekend is pretty soft, it was always meant for Amazon Prime and theatrical is just to get a little something before that.
10. Ma– $3.6M/$40.3M