Box Office Preview: 'MIB: International' to Lead Weekend With Muted $30M Bow
Meanwhile, New Line's 'Shaft' is eyeing a $16 million to $19 million opening, and Amazon Studios is set to expand Mindy Kaling's 'Late Night' nationwide.
The 2019 summer box office so far has been filled with sequels, series installments and spinoffs that have opened to varying degrees of success. And this weekend is looking to continue that trend.
Men in Black: International is tracking for a $30 million bow at the domestic box office across 4,200 theaters and is expected to lead the weekend. Some industry experts with access to early surveys estimate that the movie could debut in the $35 million-$37 million range.
While those figures all trail the opening weekend hauls of the other films in the Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones-starring Men in Black universe — 1997's Men in Black opened to $51 million, while Men in Black II and III bowed to $52.1 million and $54.6 million in 2002 and 2012, respectively, — International is a series spinoff.
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 universe.
International, which currently sits at a 27 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, was a co-production with Hemisphere and Tencent.
Also hitting theaters in a wide release this weekend is Warner Bros. and New Line's Shaft, which is set to open on 2,900 screens 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 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.
Meanwhile, Amazon Studios' Late Night is set to expand wide. The Sundance standout bowed at four locations in New York and Los Angeles last weekend for a total of $249,654 in ticket sales. The comedy-drama, which sits at an 80 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, follows a talk show host (Emma Thompson) who tries to become more current by making an inclusive writing hire (Mindy Kaling).
And at the specialty box office, Jim Jarmusch's Cannes title The Dead Don't Die opens Friday. The ensemble zombie comedy, which Focus Features will release in 500 theaters, has an A-list cast that includes Adam Driver, Bill Murray, Selena Gomez and Tilda Swinton.