Hollywood seems to be coming down with a contagious case of franchise fatigue this summer, as “Men in Black: International” and “Shaft” become the latest sequels largely dismissed by moviegoers in North America.
Sony’s “Men in Black: International” led ticket sales at the box office this weekend with $28.5 million, but still fell short of expectations. Those receipts represent roughly half of what the previous installments in the sci-fi series earned during their first weekend in theaters.
The latest entry, toplined by Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth, wasn’t expected to reach the same heights as the original films starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, but analysts anticipated a start above $30 million.
Directed by F. Gary Gray, the sequel sees Thompson and Hemsworth team up as black-suited agents protecting the Earth from a series of alien attacks.
“Men in Black: International” is now banking on moviegoers overseas to make the action adventure a hit.
Sony co-financed the movie with Hemisphere and Tencent, spending $110 million to produce the film, roughly half of what it cost to make “MIB 3.”
Critics praised the chemistry between Hemsworth and Thompson, who first shared the screen in “Thor: Ragnarok,” but reviews were otherwise uninspired for the follow-up, which comes seven years after the latest instalment and 25 years after the first film. It carries a 24% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Audiences were equally unenthusiastic, giving “MIB: International” a B CinemaScore.