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Men In Black: International Disappoints With $28.5 Million Opening

Well, Sony probably saw this going a lot better. 

The fourth entry into the sci-fi action comedy franchise that kicked off in the late '90s, Men in Black: International opened in theaters on Friday, June 14 — right as the summer blockbuster season began. With two big-name stars leading the way (Thor: Ragnarok buddies Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson) and an established movie universe to play around in, the pic seemed poised to be the talk of the town and the king of the box office. Sadly, things didn't pan out that way. 

Men in Black: International had a disappointing opening weekend, earning just $28.5 million domestically (via Box Office Mojo) after bringing in $3.1 million during Thursday night preview showings. 

This figure falls several million dollars short of what analysts predicted International would make in its first three days out in the U.S. and Canada. Directed by F. Gary Gray, Men in Black: International was expected to rake in anywhere between $30 million (on the modest end of projections) and $37 million (on the more optimistic side). That the flick didn't reach the softest estimation is disheartening.

A $28.5 million stateside debut also sees Men in Black: International set a sad new record: it's now the lowest opening of any movie in the Men in Black franchise, as its three predecessors — the 1997 original, the 2002 follow-up, and the 2012 three-quel –  each launched to the tune of $51 million or more domestically. International would have had to nearly double its profits in the U.S. and Canada this weekend to be up to snuff. 

The situation isn't completely dire, despite it looking incredibly bleak as far as domestic earnings are concerned. Apropos of its title, Men in Black: International fared better over the weekend in overseas markets, taking home $73.7 million to bring its global launch to $102.2 million. Considering International ran studio Sony Pictures up a reported $110 million production bill (prior to marketing and distribution), the film is approaching profit-turning territory — which is the end goal for all projects. 

Though Men in Black: International may not have wound up the summer blockbuster that people expected it to be, and it may have left critics wishing the movie's memory-wiping technology was fact instead of fiction, it did manage to take the top spot at the domestic box office over the weekend and win over most fans. Not a great outcome, but not a totally terrible one either.