Sony’s Men in Black: International looks to take the top spot at the Friday box office in its debut, but that’s probably the best news the franchise installment is going to see. It’s on track for a projected $26+ million total this weekend. That’s less than a quarter of the reported $110 million production budget for the sci-fi action comedy that reunites Thor: Ragnarok stars Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson. Critically crushed and suffering from a distinct lack of buzz, it’s looking like a misfire for the MiB team. We’ll see if there’s any hope for it at the international box office when those numbers come in.
Another new debut from a fan-favorite franchise this weekend is in even worse shape. Warner Bros.’ Shaft (2019), which follows up on Shaft (2000) and, of course, Shaft (1971), aimed to bring the third generation of title badasses to a new generation of moviegoers. The issue is that 2019 audiences have a lot more screens and content vying for their attention. Shaft brought in an estimated $2.7 million on Friday, just edging out Dark Phoenix for the fourth spot. An estimated weekend tally between $7-8 million is about as good as its going to get for the Family Shaft.
Filling out the Top 5 is Illumination’s animated sequel The Secret Life of Pets 2, followed by Disney’s live-action Aladdin and Disney-Fox’s cast-off flick, Dark Phoenix. There isn’t an original film in the Top 5, so perhaps franchise fatigue is starting to hit audiences who only have the time and the cash to spare for the biggest “big events” of the years, namely Disney’s MCU and Star Wars titles.
Outside of the traditional studio system, however, Amazon’s Late Night got a big bump in the theatrical department, expanding to 2,220 locations and taking in $1.66 million. Director Nisha Ganatra (Cake) directs Emma Thompson and Mindy Kaling from a script by Kaling. Additionally, Focus Features’ The Dead Don’t Die, from writer-director Jim Jarmusch and starring Bill Murray and Adam Driver, came up short of $1 million on Friday, shambling forward to a $2.5 million weekend debut.
Check out the Top 5 from the Friday box office below (via Box Office Mojo):
|1||Men in Black: International||$10,400,000||$10.40|
|2||The Secret Life of Pets 2||$6,890,000||$75.10|