8:43am PT by Mia Galuppo
Box Office: 'Men in Black: International' Picks Up $3M in Thursday Previews
Men in Black: International started its opening weekend with $3.1 million in Thursday night previews on 3,472 screens.
Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth star in the film as Agent M and Agent H, who spearhead the London bureau of the agency that is charged with protecting and concealing the Earth from an alien species. F. Gary Gray, the filmmaker behind franchise fare like Fate of the Furious, directed the latest installment in the MIB universe, which sits at a 26 percent freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
MIB: International's preview earnings were on the lower end of the summer's Thursday night ticket sales, below John Wick 3 ($6 million), Detective Pikachu ($5.7 million) and, most recently, Dark Phoenix ($5 million). But International will likely lead the weekend, tracking for a $30 million bow at the domestic box office from 4,224 screens.
Also opening this weekend is New Line and Warner Bros.' Shaft, which earned $600,000 on Thursday night. The movie will expand to 2,900 screens, and bow to an estimated $16 million to $19 million in ticket sales.
Tim Story directed the movie, which currently has a 37 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and is a sequel to the 2000 film of the same name, which itself was a remake of Gordon Parks' original 1971 movie. The movie is a team-up between three generations of Shaft men — Richard Roundtree, Samuel L. Jackson and series newcomer Jessie T. Usher.
Amazon Studios is expanding Late Night nationwide this weekend into 2,218 theaters, while Jim Jarmusch's Cannes title The Dead Don't Die will open in 500 theaters via Focus Features.