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'Men in Black: International' continues the summer box office's sequel slump

Sonaiya Kelley, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Business News

LOS ANGELES -- Hollywood sequels have crashed and burned at the box office this summer, with just a handful of notable exceptions.

Sony's "Men in Black: International," a spinoff of the Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones franchise, continued the trend, debuting in first place with a disappointing $28.5 million, according to estimates from measurement firm Comscore. (Analysts predicted the film would earn about $30 million in North America.) As a whole, the weekend was off 51.9% from a year ago, when "Incredible 2" opened to $182.7 million. The year-to-date total trails 2018 by 7.1%.

The opening is by far the lowest yet for the series, coming in behind the 1997 original's $51 million, the sequel's $52.1 million and the $54.6 million for "MIB 3."

Starring Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth, the $110 million movie cost less than half of 2012's "MIB 3," which featured a hefty $225 million price tag. The new "MIB" earned a B CinemaScore and negative reviews, with a 24% "rotten" rating on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes.

In second place, Universal's "The Secret Life of Pets 2" added $23.8 million in its second weekend.

At No.3, Disney's "Aladdin" added $16.7 million in its fourth weekend.

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In fourth place, Fox's "Dark Phoenix" added $9 million in its second weekend. Rounding out the top five, Paramount's "Rocketman" added $8.8 million in its third weekend.

Also new over the weekend, Warner Bros.' "Shaft" came in in sixth place with $8.3 million, on par with analysts' modest projections of $8 million.

The reboot stars Samuel L. Jackson as the titular private eye, and Jessie T. Usher as his son. It earned an A CinemaScore and poor reviews, posting a 35% "rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

The studio's "Godzilla: King of the Monsters" came in seventh, adding $8.1 million in its third weekend.

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