Sony Boss Explains What Went Wrong With Men In Black: International


Men in Black: International is one of many flicks that attempted to reboot a beloved franchise. While a lot of these revitalizations have done gangbusters at the box office, others have failed to capture the magic of the source material. The latest installment of the Men in Black series unfortunately falls under the latter category.

The movie had plenty of star power with Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson, as well as plenty of financial backing. On paper, this feature should’ve been a massive blockbuster. And while the film certainly didn’t bomb by any stretch, it also failed to meet the expectations the studio had for it. $245 million globally on a $110 million budget is nothing to sneeze at, but those at the top were hoping that this would be the beginning of a whole new trilogy revolving around the two characters. It appears that won’t happen now though that the film underperformed in many executives’ eyes.

One of those underwhelmed executives is Sony Pictures Chairman Tom Rothman, and he was very candid in a recent interview about the disappointing relaunch, explaining why he thinks the flick came up short:

“I think the truth of the matter is the audience really liked that film and the cast was wonderful, Tessa [Thompson] and Chris [Hemsworth] were great and did a terrific job, but if we made any mistake, I think it probably was that there was not a strong enough idea in the story. Especially when you compare that to, say, Jumanji, which had a very, very strong idea. So the lesson of it is we have a pretty darn good batting average around here, but you are never going to bat 1.000, and you need to continue to take risks. But you have to try to manage risk. In the case of Men in Black, we had two cofinanciers on that movie and that manages the risk. I really do believe you cannot eliminate risk in the movie business. If you try to eliminate risk, you will eliminate creativity, and if you eliminate creativity, you will eliminate success.”

A weak storyline definitely hurt the reboot at the box office, though production troubles also likely didn’t help. What could’ve been a smash summer hit for Sony ultimately will be regarded as the most forgettable installation in an otherwise solid franchise.

Still, Rothman’s right when he says that risks will often reap big rewards. Just because Men in Black: International didn’t pan out as planned doesn’t mean studios should play it safe from now. This might not be the series relaunch that fans were hoping it would be, but maybe one day Sony can try again and hopefully yield better results.