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The summer 2019 box office has not been kind to studio sequels nor spinoffs. Disney/Fox’s Dark Phoenix crashed with a $33 million opening, while Warner Bros.’ Godzilla: Kong of the Monsters bowed to an toothless $47 million domestically. And this weekend has continued the disappointing trend, as Sony’s Men in Black: International debuted to a sluggish $30 million at 4,200 locations.
International has a 25 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but fared better with audiences, who gave it a B CinemaScore. The weekend crowd was largely under 35 (74 percent), with the single largest age group falling between 18-34 years old (50 percent). Audiences were 48 percent Caucasian, 22 percent Hispanic, 15 percent Asian and 15 percent African-American.
Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth star in the new pic as Agent H and Agent M, respectively, 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 franchise.
International trailed behind the opening weekends of the other installments in the Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones-starring MIB universe, all of which bowed in the low-to-mid $50 millions (unadjusted for inflation). But International is a spinoff of the lucrative series, so Sony — which produced the movie with Hemisphere and Tencent — and industry experts were not expecting it would open near those numbers.
Early Sunday estimates had weekend ticket sales at $28.5 million, but the Father’s Day holiday sales in above projections, landing the movie its $30 million bow.
International collected $73.7 million overseas, making International’s global haul an estimated $102.2 million. China led the markets with $26.3 million, followed by South Korea ($4.9 million, distributed by Lotte), Japan ($3.5 million) and Mexico ($3.9 million).
The weekend’s other new offering was New Line and Warner Bros.’ Shaft, which came in seventh at the domestic box office with an underwhelming haul of $8.3 million at 2,952 locations.
Tim Story directed the R-rated sequel to the 2000 film of the same name, which was a remake of Gordon Parks’ original 1971 movie. The pic is a team-up between three generations of Shaft men — Richard Roundtree, Samuel L. Jackson and series newcomer Jessie T. Usher.
The latest Shaft earned a 36 percent Rotten Tomatoes rating from critics, but audiences heavily disagreed, giving it an impressive A CinemaScore. Fifty-two percent of ticketbuyers were female, and 46 percent were over the age of 35. Forty-three percent of moviegoers were African-American, followed by 32 percent Caucasian and 16 percent Hispanic.
Elsewhere, Amazon Studios’ Late Night expanded wide, earning an estimated $5.1 million at 2,220 locations in its second weekend.
The pic follows a talk show host (Emma Thompson) who tries to become more current with the help of her latest hire (Mindy Kaling).
The movie, which Amazon picked up out of Sundance for $13 million, has an 80 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but audiences were less favorable, giving it a B CinemaScore. Late Night played best on the coasts, with women making up 67 percent of the audience.
After its impressive opening at four theaters in New York and Los Angeles, taking in $249,654, Late Night‘s wide release numbers were lackluster. Fellow Amazon title The Big Sick earned $7.5 million in its 2017 wide release, which came the fourth weekend that movie was in theaters.
Opening at the specialty box office was Jim Jarmusch’s The Dead Don’t Die, which collected $2.35 million at 500 locations for a per-theater average of $3,827.
The Focus Features zombie comedy features an A-list cast that includes Adam Driver, Bill Murray, Selena Gomez and Tilda Swinton.
Box office holdovers include Illumination and Universal’s The Secret Life of Pets 2, which came in second with a weekend gross of $23.8 million domestically for a $92 million cume to date.
Disney’s live-action Aladdin movie is still going strong, coming in third with a weekend haul of $16.7 million at 3,556 locations. The movie now sits at a massive $263.4 million after its fourth weekend at the North American box office, with an international gross of $461.4 million.
Dark Phoenix earned just $9 million in its second weekend, dropping a massive 73 percent, and sits at a domestic cume of $51.8 million.
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