Dark Phoenix recently got a lot of attention for all the wrong reasons, as it earned the lowest opening weekend gross of any X-Men movie. It seemed like a cert that the Fox film would end up being the most infamous box office bomb of the summer, then, but shockingly, another release has already come along to snatch its crown: Men in Black: International.
As per The Hollywood Reporter, MIB: International only raked up $28.5 million in its first weekend. For comparison, Dark Phoenix debuted to $33 million. That’s not a huge difference, but it does mean that what looked to be a promising reboot of the sci-fi action-comedy franchise has made even less of an impact than a superhero movie we’ve been expecting to bomb for months.
The slight silver lining to MIB 4‘s fate is that it’s not the biggest loser of the weekend, as Shaft opened to a tiny $8.3 million. However, with a budget of only $30-35 million, it’s not quite in the same league as these two $100 million+ failures. Still, it’s a surprise that the Samuel L. Jackson vehicle didn’t draw a bigger crowd.
As for Men in Black, we can presumably blame the disappointing gross on a mix of bad reviews and lackluster marketing. The film has been negatively compared to what’s come before, with its Rotten Tomatoes score sitting at 27%, which likely put some folks off. Likewise, the promotional campaign hasn’t been as strong as it could be, with Sony perhaps making the mistake of thinking the star power of Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson would do the job for them.
When it comes to Dark Phoenix, the fact it’s a flop hardly matters, as the X-Men will soon be rebooted by Disney. However, Men in Black: International was clearly intended to be a bold restart to the franchise and as such, it’ll be interesting to see how Sony proceeds with the series now.