Going into the month, it appeared as if Men in Black III was preparing for a $90+ million Memorial Day weekend. These were huge expectations that were built on the basis of demand for Will Smith and a beloved franchise’s shot at redemption. That said, Friday’s official studio numbers are showing that the analysts were way off on this one.
The movie took in only $18 million on Friday which ordinarily would be a great opening day number; however, this is a $230 million film that was marketed like it was a major motion picture event. While it may qualify as one of the biggest first-day totals of the year, it is only a distant third in the category behind The Avenger’s $80.8 million and The Hunger Games’ $67.3 million.
Even when taking the latest Barry Sonnenfeld-directed Men in Black movie away from such lofty expectations and into the lens of the franchise, the movie still performed quite poorly as it is clearly the weakest opening day of the trilogy. The first two actually opened on Wednesdays in July which makes this a tad more embarrassing although the franchise-launcher technically only grossed $14 million for its debut when negating Tuesday previews which totaled $4.8 million. Men in Black II debuted to $18.6 million five years later.
In a nut shell, this is a horrible performance and now it looks like Sony could end up losing some money on this one. Based on Friday’s result, current projections have the movie still grossing just over $70 million for the weekend on the basis of a strong family turn out for the days ahead.
For those of you looking for the international bump which has helped prop up blockbusters in recent years, that does not seem to be happening. I have seen this compared to John Carter and Battleship in terms of overseas performance which basically means $200-250 million in the grand scheme of things.