Box Office: 'Men in Black III' #1, Weaker Than Expected

Box Office: 'Men in Black III' #1, Weaker Than Expected

What started out as a banner year for Hollywood is now not looking so hot. “Men In Black 3” is no flop, but it looks like a disappointment — Hollywood’s fifth in a row. A film budgeted at $300 million that opens below expectations is never a good thing, now matter how you spin it. Week two will seal its fate either way.  

What had been a five month celebration of one hit after another is now looking less like a sure thing. Summer was supposed to be the cherry on top of a spectacular, record-smashing five months. Now you can practically feel the worry creeping into the stomachs of executives everywhere.


A lot is riding on this weekend’s worldwide totals for Will Smith (back at cineplexes after a 4-year hiatus) and Sony Pictures (reviving a decade-long dormant franchise). Yes, Sony’s new #1 Memorial Weekend movie Men In Black 3 will beat Marvel’s The Avengers which is starting its 4th week in domestic release. But I can’t ignore rival studio claims that the 3D scifi laugher is not looking as strong as Hollywood thought for North America or overseas. At first this just seemed to be sour grapes. But now it’s clear that Barry Sonnenfeld’s/Rick Baker’s latest playing in very wide release at 4,248 theaters looks to open in the range of $18M today and only $75M for the 4-day holiday. That’s not anywhere close to the $90M which Hollywood thought this popular franchise could open its threequel. This makes the 5th major studio release that has underperformed at the start of Summer 2012, though not as badly as the others. …

1. Men in Black 3 3D (Columbia/Sony) NEW [4,248 Theaters] PG13
Friday $18M, 4-Day Weekend $75M

2. Marvel’s The Avengers 3D (Disney) Week 4 [3,918 Theaters] PG13
Friday $9.5M, 4-Day Weekend $45M, Cume $523.5M

3. Chernobyl Diaries (Alcon/Warner Bros) NEW [2,433
Theaters] R
Friday $3.5M, 4-Day Weekend $11.5M

3. Battleship (Universal) Week 2 [3,702 Theaters] PG13
Friday $2.8M (-69%), 4-Day Weekend $13.5M, Cume $43.3M

5. The Dictator (Paramount) Week 2 [3,014 Theaters] R
Friday $2.6M (-53%), 4-Day Weekend $11.5M, Cume $43.3M

Updates and much more analysis here.