'Men In Black International' Tops The Box Office But Disappoints With Franchise-Low Opening

It's a cruel summer at the box office this year. Avengers: Endgame may have started off the blockbuster season with loads of cash and John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum may be surpassing its predecessors on the charts with great success, but most of the other sequels are crashing and burning spectacularly. And despite topping the box office this past weekend, Men in Black International is another one of those disappointments.

The Men in Black International box office debuted with only $28.5 million from a whopping 4,224 screens. That's massively disappointing, especially since it's a record-low opening for the Men in Black franchise. It's even below what analysts expected for the movie, showing that audiences aren't attracted to summer movies simply because they have previously established intellectual property involved. 

Men in Black International's paltry opening was $20 million less than the franchise's lowest opening weekend, which, funnily enough, was $51 million for the original film (though the sequels only barely performed better with $52 million and $54 million for the second and third films respectively). That really is a shame for a movie that re-teams Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson, but it seems the negative reviews and lukewarm audience reception may have kept people away. Plus, the movie just didn't look all that great in the marketing.

Even globally, Men in Black International is performing 19% behind Men in Black 3. It landed 73.7 million from 36 markets, putting it on par with the reboot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which probably isn't the best example to follow. It seems like this franchise could have used a little Will Smith action to help the movie make a bigger impact.

Meanwhile, The Secret Life of Pets 2 wasn't too far behind in the #2 spot with Box Office Mojo adding another $23.8 million to its domestic total. That gives the sequel just over $92 million after 10 days, which is a solid return, but not nearly as big as some were expecting based on the first film's big box office performance.

Family friendly programming continues to be a big draw while school is out with Aladdin taking the #3 spot. The Disney remake earned another $16.7 million, giving the movie $264 million in the United States so far. Combine that with the $461 million the movie has made internationally, and Aladdin is a huge hit sitting just under $725 million right now.

In fourth place, it appears word of mouth isn't doing Dark Phoenix any favors. The final installment of 20th Century Fox's X-Men franchise dropped 72.6% from its opening weekend, pulling in a pathetic $9 million. That's enough to make it the second largest box office drop in a second weekend, just behind Fifty Shades of Grey's drop of 73.9%. What an upsetting farewell for the franchise that was once such a box office draw.

Finishing up the top five, we've got Elton John's biopic Rocketman with $8.8 million, bringing the US total to $66 million. That's not bad for an R-rated musical fantasy biography. It's not performing nearly as well as Bohemian Rhapsody, and it's not likely to have very long legs as summer continues, but it's still holding on strong.

Adding to the pile of disappointments this summer, the reboot of Shaft, starring three generations of bad motherf***ers, arrived on the box office charts at #6 with $8.3 million. And since the studio was expecting the R-rated action comedy to land around $15 million, that's quite the box office bomb. Interestingly enough, audiences gave the movie an "A" CinemaScore, but it seems not many out there were eager to check it out opening weekend.

For more on the weekend box office, including details on the indie performances of Late Night and The Dead Don't Die, hit up Box Office Mojo. Hopefully next weekend will get an injection of excitement and cash when Toy Story 4 arrives, breaking the cycle of disappointing sequels.