Friday’s early estimates showed Sony’s “Men in Black: International” heading for a disappointing $24 million opening weekend at a mild North American box office in the top spot.
The sci-fi comedy franchise’s fourth iteration is performing well under humble expectations, which had been at 4,224 places in the $30 million range. Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson are the stars of “Men in Black: International,” replacing Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones as the black-suited officials dealing with a stunning sequence of alien assaults on Earth.
New Line’s launch of its “Shaft” reboot also shows little traction at multiplexes with estimates coming in around $8 million at 2,952 locations on Friday, far below forecasts for the weekend in the range of $16 million to $24 million. And the expanded release of Amazon’s “Late Night” comedy by Mindy Kaling-Emma Thompson also fell flat at about $4 million at 2,218 locations.
The weekend’s only bright spots seem to be Universal’s second weekend of “The Secret Life of Pets 2,” falling about 53 percent to about $22 million, and Disney’s fourth frame of “Aladdin” with about $17 million. Aladdin’s live-action reboot should end the weekend with about $262 million domestically.
The past three “Men in Black” movies on the worldwide box office combined for more than $1.6 billion. All three earned over $50 million in North American debut weekends. Reviews on Rotten Tomatoes were dismal with a rating of 25 percent.