So, Sony managed their risk, and brought in China's Tencent and previous MIB 3 partner Hemisphere, as well as others, keeping their exposure to 50%. Sony says Men in Black: International cost $110M before P&A; others have told us it actually cost around $94M (how often do you hear that, when a studio is puffing up its own cost number to the press? Hmmm).
Focus Features has the Jim Jarmusch zombie comedy Dead Don't Die,, which didn't win critics over at 52%. We're still assessing if there's any kind of profitability here. Factor in the fact that to take the movie to Cannes, that marketing costs are around $2M-$3M for a film like this. On a technicality, Dead Don't Die reps Jarmusch's widest opening and best opening ever at the box office. Despite a great shorthand here by Murray and Driver, the humor didn't play at the Grand Lumiere in Cannes, where the pic kicked off the fest. Focus also went semi-wide with this Bill Murray-Adam Driver-Selena Gomez-Tilda Swinton-Chloe Sevigny ensemble at 613 theaters, with a $2.5M opening.
John Wick 3
Funny, no one wants to go to the movies. Typical before a tidal wave of great upcoming tentpole product, moviegoers hold on to their wallets, and it's conceivable that is what's going on here, with Toy Story 4 on the marquee next weekend, followed by Sony/Marvel's Spider-Man: Far From Home on July 2, the latter a complete make-up for the Culver City studio's woes this weekend. Overall, a crappy summer weekend indeed, even with a great 80% K-12 schools and 92% colleges off for summer today, moving to 86% and 95% by Monday.
The movie was hoping to be Telfon proof against critics' RT score of 35% Rotten for an opening around $17.5M.” /> made $600K from previews that started at 6PM. New Line's Shaft per Warner Bros.
It's the fastest means to make their money back and get the ancillaries to kick back fast. I can't write this enough: Whenever a distributor is in the hole for a ton of cash on a title, they'll go wide with it. Lastly, a word on platforming and going wide with indie pics. Why do prestige indie pics get platformed in the fall-winter corridor? At the end of the day, there's an argument to be made that the movie would make more money by going fast and wide, then being platformed. But there's a serious business method to the madness. Everyone tap-danced on Annapurna for going wide with Booksmart, arguing it should have been platformed. Because there's too many of them, and when there is so much critical acclaim and awards praise heaped on them within that period, they can stay alive and leg out.
And we're not dinging F. Jurassic Park morphing into Jurassic World, the simple swap of Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones for Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth didn't yield a Thor: Ragnarok situation for Men in Black: International. What we mean here is that everyone involved, from producers to Sony to Amblin, forgot to blow up and rebuild the entire aesthetic of Men in Black. While most studios are trying to rip a page from Universal's handbook in regards to rebooting old IP, i.e. Sony and Amblin forgot to take director Taika Waititi with them. Gary Gray, the director of MIB: International here, who originally intended to bring a hip, frenetic hipness to the franchise, like he did with Fate of the Furious.
However, kids dipped from 4 stars on Thursday to 3 1/2. Like Dark Phoenix, critics had no patience for another Men in Black at 24% Rotten, and in updated PostTrak exits as of Friday night, most audiences' opinions didn't change with 3 stars. A low definite recommend at 46% from general audiences. Strongest markets were the South and the West. Friday's $10.4M includes Thursday's $3.1M previews. The mix was 47% Caucasian, 21% Hispanic, 18% Asian/Other, & 14% African American. The crowd was 51% Male and 72% under 35, and with the majority of 52% falling between 18-34 years old.
The current Sony regime knew the risk involved in augmenting Men in Black, and definitely wasn't going to shell out a $225M production cost like the previous one made under the Amy Pascal administration (MIB high costs largely stemmed from the combo of Smith, Jones and director Barry Sonnenfeld).
Late Night is a movie about the inner-workings of show business (like The Player), and mainstream audiences have never shown any great interest in those types of movies. It's not Big Sick. Amazon certainly was drunk on the juice of Late Night at Sundance, as they saw another diversity comedy ala Big Sick. Big Sick was a family ensemble movie that co-starred Ray Romano and Holly Hunter and had a unique conceit with a Meet the Parents vibe. On top of that, Late Night, with its plot about a female TV late night show writer, screams "TV," and it's a movie that's packaged to feel like it should be watched on "TV." For anyone who remembers, there was an HBO movie back in 1996 about the Jay Leno-David Letterman war called The Late Shift, a movie about late night TV that aired on TV.
Just because no one is going to the movies now doesn't mean they won't come out next Friday into July (remember, Disney has the live-action The Lion King and Universal has Hobbs & Shaw during the first weekend of August). The theatrical business is a cyclical one, one best evaluated long-term. Respectively, both movies are expected to open to a potential $200M and a 6-day of $170M+.
1 movie yesterday was Secret Life of Pets 2 with $4.4M for a full week's take of $67.3M, $68.2M with previews. The top No. 2 was Aladdin with $3M and a third week of $38.8M and a running total of $246.7M. Fox/Disney's Dark Phoenix ranked 4th yesterday with $1.47M and a first week total of $42.7M. No.
haul, which we've been told would lead to breakeven. Men in Black: International is Sony's bid to revive the millennial franchise sans stars Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, and with Thor: Ragnarok pair Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson. The revival we hear cost Sony a low $94M before P&A with less than 18% participations each by Tencent and Hemisphere. The hope is for a $300M global B.O.
Something broke down here in regards to marketing this movie and getting the target demo in the doors. We'll come back to that point. Though New Line only spent around $35M before P&A, and sold off foreign to Netflix for what we hear now was only $6M-$7M, some film finance sources literally believe this film could bleed more money than Men in Black: International at the end of the day. What a disconnect between dollars and audience reactions.
Thursday's take for Men in Black: International is higher than MIB 3's 2012 Thursday which drew $1.55M, but those shows started at 9PM and it was a different marketplace for previews. Pokemon: Detective Pikachu ($5.7M) Godzilla: King of the Monsters ($6.3M) and Dark Phoenix ($5M). Men in Black: International's previews are less than the latest string of summer Thursdays, i.e.
This Men in Black, per Deadline's Pete Hammond, played flat, sans the timing brought on by Smith and Jones. Really, who are the Men in Black millennial fans anyway? They're certainly not as precious as Ghostbusters fans, who continue to dress up in their 50s like they're paranormal hunters, and get riled up when there's a complete 180 in the casting from male-to-female. The pic is too devoted to its tropes and a simple change-up on the MIB materials with fresh faces –well, audiences are too smart, right? If there was some dare here with Men in Black: International, aside from changing the action up from New York for other parts of the world, moviegoers would not have minded.
Men in Black: Int..
BOX OFFICE FOR JUNE 14-16
3rd Update Saturday AM writethru, after Friday midday update If you're a rival major studio in the Disney-Fox era and you want to continue to play around with franchises, you have to make a movie that's so outstanding, there's no question in any person's mind that they should go to the cinema. The challenged sequels of late –Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Dark Phoenix and Secret Life of Pets 2 — gave a majority of people little reason to buy tickets, and so, too, did that befall Sony's Men in Black: International, making it the lowest-opener in the franchise with $26.3M, and they spent roughly half of the pic's previous chapter, as we predicted last weekend.
1st Update, Friday 7:27AM: Columbia Pictures/Tencent Media/Hemisphere’s PG-13 fourthquel Men in Black: International took in $3.1M last night from previews starting at 4 p.m. Critics hate Men in Black: International at 25% on Rotten Tomatoes, which is the lowest of the four after Men in Black (92% fresh), Men in Black II (39%) and MIB 3 (68% fresh). in 3,472 locations. Sony is projecting $30M for the weekend, and hopefully the pic doesn't go lower as there's been a bad case of sequelitis at the box office lately with the under-performance of Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Dark Phoenix, and Secret Life of Pets 2 (though on that latter Universal/Illumination toon, due to its low cost, it will profit greatly we understand).
The audience was 75% over-25 and 44% over- 35. The sentiment is reminiscent of last year’s remake, Superfly." Another thing about Shaft — he's an older person's property; the IP is two years shy of being 50 years old. To this group, another Shaft chapter seems unnecessary, and this 2019 version in particular is confusing. Sony's Superfly opened to $6.8M and finaled at $20.5M last summer (at a much cheaper production cost of $16M), while the studio's Proud Mary (which was an homage to Pam Grier movies) opened to $9.9M and finaled at $20.8M stateside. But Shaft drew the ladies at 53%. It could be that the core audience has had enough of Blaxploitation reboots, i.e. Says social media monitor RelishMix, "Some wonder why this particular Blaxploitation title would be re-made in today’s environment.
Secret Life of Pets 2
Luxury promo partners, which counted Lexus and fashion designer Paul Smith, brought in $75M in promotional support. around $300M for Men in Black: International will trigger ancillaries for a break-even result. Industry finance sources tell us that a final global B.O. Global P&A spend was at the lower tentpole end, with an estimated $120M.
It may also be one of the key reasons why people aren't rushing out to it. They attempted to shift at the last minute by bowing the film in NY and LA last weekend, and notched the best specialty release theater average opening of $61.5k to date this year. Even though Amazon largely respects theatrical windows (that's going to change with its awards season push for another Sundance pick-up, The Report, this fall), if you think about it, Late Night is an advertisement for Amazon Prime, because that's the end game for this Mindy Kaling Working Girl comedy. Amazon observed weeks ago that Late Night was going to tank on tracking, with a $4M-$5M opening. Poor results for a film with good exits of a B+ CinemaScore and an 80% on PostTrak from the core female 25+ audience, who showed up at 52%. And Amazon's Late Night, another misfire in the indie female cinema space with $4.7M after the studio spent $13M for the pic at Sundance, and from what we hear, another $35M in marketing.
But no one showed up, with a $7.1M take. Such a cool, fun trailer that riffed on the ridiculous notion of three Shafts coming together. Jackson version opened to (he's even in this movie!). Those who did gave it an A CinemaScore and 4 Stars on PostTrak. New Line's Shaft — what happened here? Many assumed African American audiences would over-index the opening of this movie, and they didn't, even though they repped 44% of last night's audience to 35% Caucasian, 11% Hispanic and 7% Asian. This film was riding high on a $20M-$22M tracking number four weeks ago, in the range of the $21.7M that the 2000 Samuel L.
Late Night played best on the coasts, where they had 49.2% of their gross versus a norm of 42.26% for all films. At the end of the day, Amazon's one weekend platform didn't change the wide opening of Late Night, it just held off the bleeding. Late Night's crowd was 68/32 female and 77% over-25, with 47% over 35 years old. The mix was 63% Caucasian, 16% Hispanic, 13% Asian/Other, & 8% African American.