In what seems to be a trend this summer, it was another week of massive underperformance for new entries in established franchises as both Men in Black and Shaft should have possibly stayed dormant.
Men in Black International “won” the box office with $28.5 million but that was around $25 million less than any of the previous MIB movies and it gets worse if you adjust for inflation, as the original MIB would have made just over $100 million in 2019 dollars. It is the third highest opening for director F. Gary Gray but it’s only slightly above his movies like Law Abiding Citizen and Be Cool and less than half what Straight Outta Compton made in its opening weekend. For star Chris Hemsworth it’s toward the middle of his openings, behind Ghostbusters which made $18 million more. It’s also toward the middle for co-star Tessa Thompson as well, who has been in fewer movies than Hemsworth but it was behind both Creed movies. It’s also obviously just over $94 million less than their prior team-up, Thor: Ragnorak, although Sony didn’t have expectations quite that large but, if they did, that would be insane. The movie took in $73 million internationally for a global opening of $102 million.
The Secret Life of Pets 2 dropped to second with $23.8 million, bringing its two week domestic total to just over $92 million. It’s still being thoroughly outpaced by its predecessor, which made just over $50 million in its second weekend.
Aladdin remained strong in third place, making another $16.7 million and only dropping 32% from last weekend. It has made over $263.4 million domestically and over $726 million worldwide.
Dark Phoenix and Rocketman rounded out the top 5 with the former absolutely nosediving, dropping 72% from last weekend’s already terrible opening with another $9 million. It has taken in $51.7 million domestic so far and $204 million worldwide but it cost at least that and probably more, so it’s still probably going to lose a ton of movie for Disney/Fox and might even be close to or already out of the top 10 after this coming weekend.
Shaft debuted with a mediocre $8.3 million, about half as much as the studio was expecting. If you adjust for inflation, the 2000 Shaft reboot with Samuel L. Jackson would have opened to $36 million in 2019 dollars. It is the lowest opening ever for director Tim Story and one of the lowest openings for Samuel L. Jackson, between Twisted and Juice.
Further down the list, Late Night opened wide and took ninth place with $5.1 million while Jim Jarmusch’s The Dead Don’t Die opened in 613 theaters with $2.4 million for 12th place.
The Per Theater average went to Paris is Burning, a re-release of the 1990 documentary, which made $11,000 in the one theater it was showing in.