“MIB International” Barely Wins Another Bad Weekend at the Box Office


June 14-16, 2019

(estimates from BoxOfficeMojo.com)


Men in Black International  $28.5 million
The Secret Life of Pets 2 $23.8 million
Aladdin $16.7 million
Dark Phoenix $9.5 million
Rocketman $8.8 million

If you thought last weekend was a disaster for the summer, you ain't seen nothin' yet. Men in Black International, the reboot of the semi-dominant Will Smith-Tommy Lee Jones sci-fi comedy series, added two hot stars with chemistry (Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson), but apparently forgot to add jokes or much reason to care. The film got the worst reviews of the franchise, and the worst debut too. $28.5 million is far below even the original's $51 million debut. The film is faring a bit better overseas, but this is still going to go down as yet another sequel flop.

The Secret Life of Pets 2 dropped 49 percent, which is the best hold of any No. 1 debut so far this summer, which is not a great sign. The only movie that's not dropping at an astonishing rate is the No. 3 film Aladdin. Dropping only 32 percent this weekend, it's already passed $250 million. Any studio besides Disney would kill for a friend like that.

Dark Phoenix continued its sad saga, slipping a truly abysmal 72.6 percent, taking in just $9.5 million in its second weekend. That's a major disaster, as the film still has yet to make in total what even the lowest-earning film in the franchise made in its debut. Rocketman, while only opening a week before, is likely to make $25-40 million more than the final X-Men movie. How far the mighty have fallen.

Outside the top 5:

  • This Weekend's Indie Champ: Put on your best dancing shoes, because Janus' Films restored print of the seminal "ball culture" documentary Paris Is Burning made $11,000 on its lone screen.
  • "Just talkin' 'bout Shaft" might be a song lyric, but absolutely no one was talking about this reboot/sequel, which could only manage $8.3 million. It's not surprising the film went straight-to-Netflix everywhere else in the world.
  • The Dead Don't Die had the widest debut of indie director Jim Jarmusch's long career. As such, it's already the fourth-biggest movie he's ever made. Another week and it will be No. 2, though there's no way it will catch 2005's Broken Flowers, his first collaboration with Bill Murray.

Next week:

Will sequelitis affect Disney? Not bloody likely. After a month of the same ol', same ol', audiences will paradoxically find comfort in the familiar, flocking to see Toy Story 4. I think a $182 million opening like last year's similarly belated Incredibles 2 is probably off the table, but $140 million – good for a franchise record, and the second-best Pixar opening – seems a good bet. Child's Play could take second, but it'll only make around $18 million, if that. Luc Besson's Anna won't be a big player like Lucy. It'll only turn up about $10 million.


About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.