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Entertainment Weekly

Movies

Men in Black: International continues lackluster summer box office with $28.5 million opening

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When it comes to the summer, people don’t seem to be turning to the multiplex to beat the heat.

Men in Black: International is the latest summer blockbuster to fail to stun audiences. The Men in Black franchise spin-off wins the weekend with an underwhelming estimated $28.5 million across 4,224 theaters. This falls far behind the last Men in Black film, 2002’s Men in Black II, which opened to $52.1 million.

This disappointing haul is part of a larger trend, however, with previous summer blockbusters Dark Phoenix and Godzilla: King of the Monsters also failing to generate much heat their first weekends out — Dark Phoenix faltered with a massively disappointing $33 million and Godzilla: King of the Monsters fared only slightly better with $47 million.

Rounding out the top three are two holdovers, The Secret Life of Pets 2 and AladdinAnimated sequel The Secret Life of Pets 2 boasts an estimated $23.8 million across 4,564 theaters in its second weekend in theaters, while Disney’s live action update of Aladdin continues to make box office magic four weeks after its debut. Aladdin takes third place with an estimated $16.7 million across 3,556 theaters. The film is another winner for Disney in a year that’s included Captain Marvel and record-marking Avengers: Endgame. It now boasts an estimated $724.8 million haul worldwide.

Giles Keyte/Sony

Men in Black: International is a spin-off of the beloved franchise anchored by Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. The new film stars Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth as Agent H and Agent M, respectively. The two partner up from inside the London Bureau of the secret organization dedicated to monitoring and taking down alien life forms that pose a threat to humanity. Here, they must attempt to locate and eliminate a mole within the Men in Black organization. Liam Neeson, Emma Thompson, Rafe Spall, Rebecca Ferguson, and Kumail Nanjiani also star, and F. Gary Gray (The Fate of the Furious) directs.

The film was never expected to reach the levels of box office success as its Will Smith fronted predecessors, but it’s garnered disappointing reviews from critics and a mediocre B CinemaScore from audiences.

Kyle Kaplan/Warner Bros.

This weekend’s other new release is Warner Bros.’ Shaftthe next chapter in the film franchise about the legendary New York City private detective. The newest entry in this storied franchise failed to wow, taking sixth place in its opening weekend with $8.3 million across 2,952 theaters. Shaft is a sequel to the 2000 film of the same name, which was itself a remake of the 1971 classic also named Shaft. 

The latest film has Samuel L. Jackson reprising his role as John Shaft and teaming up with two generations of his family, his son J.J. Shaft (Jessie T. Usher) and father John Shaft Sr. (Richard Roundtree reprising his original role from the 1971 film). Method Man, Regina Hall, Alexandra Shipp, and Matt Lauria also star, while Tim Story directs. Critics were not jazzed about the film, but audiences loved it giving it a sterling A CinemaScore.

Emily Aragones/Amazon Studios

Mindy Kaling’s Late Night expanded to wide release this weekend, going from four locations last week to 2,220 this weekend. It lands in the ninth spot at the box office with an estimated $5.1 million in ticket sales, a slightly disappointing expansion giving its promising numbers in only four locations its first weekend out. Kaling, who also wrote the script, stars as female staff writer Molly who disrupts the boys’ club of the writers’ room and the life of late-night host Katherine Newbury (Emma Thompson).

Two other previous releases round out the top five. Dark Phoenix is fourth in its second weekend out, posting an estimated $9 million across 3,721 theaters. Director Simon Kinberg took responsibility for the film’s dismal box office numbers, saying, “That’s on me.” Musical Elton John biopic Rocketman solidly lands in fifth place in its third weekend of release with an estimated $8.8 million across 3,021 theaters.

Overall box office is down 7.1 percent to date, according to Comscore. This number has increased by two percent in a single week after steadily declining the last few months. Check out the June 14-16 numbers below.

1. Men in Black: International — $28.5 million
2. The Secret Life of Pets 2 — $23.8 million
3. Aladdin — $16.7 million
4. Dark Phoenix — $9 million
5. Rocketman — $8.8 million
6. Shaft — $8.3 million
7. Godzilla: King of the Monsters — $8.1 million
8. John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum — $6.1 million
9. Late Night — $5.1 million
10. Ma — $3.6 million

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