LOS ANGELES -- Hollywood sequels have crashed and burned at the box office this summer, with just a handful of notable exceptions.
Sony's Men in Black: International, a spinoff of the Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones franchise, continued the trend, debuting in first place with a disappointing $28.5 million, according to estimates from measurement firm Comscore. (Analysts predicted the film would earn about $30 million in North America.) The movie took in more overseas; according to the studio, it sold an additional $73.7 million in tickets. The $110 million movie cost less than half of 2012's MIB 3, which featured a hefty $225 million price tag.
The sequel replaces Smith and Jones, the stars of the first three Men in Black blockbusters, with Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson, pitting the new pair against alien invaders abroad. Many critics found that formula stale, and the movie holds a 24% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a B CinemaScore and negative reviews. The opening is by far the lowest yet for the series, coming in behind the 1997 original's $51 million, the sequel's $52.1 million and the $54.6 million for "MIB 3."
"Nearly everything here reminds you of something else, often better, cleverer, funnier," Manohla Dargis wrote in her review for The New York Times. ("'Innocuous!' would be my pull quote," she added.)
As a whole, the weekend was off 51.9% from a year ago, when Incredibles 2 opened to $182.7 million. The year-to-date total trails 2018 by 7.1%. internationally during the weekend.
In second place, Universal's The Secret Life of Pets 2 added $23.8 million in its second weekend.
At No.3, Disney's Aladdin added $16.7 million in its fourth weekend.
And things are looking dire for Dark Phoenix, which came in at No. 4. The X-Men sequel from Fox sold just $9 million in domestic tickets during the weekend, its second in theaters. That's a 73% drop from last weekend, according to Comscore, which compiles box-office data, and a feeble figure considering the movie's reported $200 million budget. The movie also earned $24.2 million overseas, according to the studio.
Rounding out the top five, Paramount's Rocketman added $8.8 million in its third weekend.
Also new over the weekend, Warner Bros.' Shaft came in in sixth place with $8.3 million, on par with analysts' modest projections of $8 million.
The reboot stars Samuel L. Jackson as the titular private eye, and Jessie T. Usher as his son. It earned an A CinemaScore and poor reviews, posting a 35% "rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
The studio's Godzilla: King of the Monsters came in seventh, adding $8.1 million in its third weekend.
At No.8, Lionsgate's John Wick: Chapter 3 -- Parabellum added $6.1 million in its fifth weekend.
In ninth place, Amazon Studios' Late Night struggled as it expanded into wide release in its second weekend, with $5.1 million.
Rounding out the top 10, Universal's Ma added $3.6 million in its third weekend.
The final newcomer of the weekend, Focus Features' The Dead Don't Die, opened outside the top 10 with $2.3 million. The picture's stars include Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Tilda Swinton and Danny Glover and currently stands at 53% "rotten" on Rotten Tomatoes.
In limited release, A24 expanded The Last Black Man in San Francisco into 36 locations from seven for $361,120, for a per-screen average of $10,031, and a cumulative $713,286.
CBS Films expanded the documentary Pavarotti into 29 additional screens for a total of 40 to $200,000 and a cumulative $429,000.
Greenwich Entertainment's Echo in the Canyon added 25 locations and $197,200 in its fourth weekend, a per-screen average of $2,900 and a cumulative $795,488.
This week, Disney and Buena Vista premiere the animated Toy Story 4, United Artists Releasing reveals the horror reboot Child's Play, Lionsgate opens Anna and Neon debuts the comedy drama Wild Rose.
MovieStyle on 06/21/2019
Print Headline: Summer sequels suffer sad endings at box office