‘Men In Black: International’ Domestic Passport Revoked With $26M+ Opening, ‘Shaft’ Drops His Gun With $7M+: Summer Sequelitis, Here We Go Again

Godzilla…Monsters
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).
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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).
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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.
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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+.
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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.
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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.
 
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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).
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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‘Dark Phoenix’ Director Simon Kinberg Says “Put It On Me” For Film’s Failures

Kinberg also received support from Tim Miller, with whom he worked on the first Deadpool.
Not helping is the critical reception, which registered 23 percent Rotten on Rotten Tomatoes, the lowest score ever for an X-men movie. The film debuted last weekend and scored only $33 million at the US box office. At an estimated $200 million production cost before marketing, that's trouble.
For Simon Kinberg, the buck stops here when it comes to the failure of Dark Phoenix to live up to the commercial and critical success of previous films in the X-men franchise.
Despite the problems, Kinberg said he enjoyed working on the film, and takes heart from several industryites who have shared their experiences.
“I’m here and I’m saying when a movie doesn’t work, put it on me,” Kinberg said on the KCRW podcast The Business. “I’m the writer/director of the movie, the movie didn’t connect with audiences, that’s on me.”
A report from Anthony D'Alessandro in Deadline detailed the behind-the-scenes drama on the film's production, including the shocking news that the film was originally set up as a two-parter, leading to reshoots and script changes that made a mess.
Listen to Kinberg’s entire interview at KCRW’s “The Business.”” />
Jane was the favorite movie that he's worked on instead of the expected Alien, Blade Runner, Thelma & Louise or Gladiator. Kinberg cited a conversation with Ridley Scott from their work together on The Martian as something he takes comfort in. Scott said G.I.
"He wrote me an email having empathy for a movie that doesn't work," said Kinberg. "People will come to see the movie differently, and out of the context of this particular moment, see things in it they will appreciate and that he appreciated as a fan."
"I've thought about that a lot over the years, and I thought about it a whole lot over the last weekend." "He said it was his favorite because it was just a great process and he learned a lot on the process of making it," said Kinberg.

Spider-Women, Captain Marvel and Harley Quinn: Females Fly In The Face Of Old Hollywood Perceptions

Now, four decades later, that promise should be rewritten to reflect a new era of superhero blockbusters: "You better believe a woman can fly, too."
More than five dozen filmmakers (all of them women) were interviewed before Cate Shortland (Lore) was hired. The film is aimed at a 2020 release. Additionally, filming starts next year on Marvel's Black Widow film, which had been a back-burner priority before the success of rival DC's Wonder Woman movie. Scarlett Johansson has portrayed the super-spy in six Marvel films and was part of the exhaustive seven-month search for the right director.
DC Universe is also ramping up a new animated series called Harley Quinn that will star Kaley Cuoco (Big Bang Theory) and premiere late next year. A new live-action series called Stargirl with Brec Bassinger in the title role will premiere next fall on DC Universe, the subscription streaming site from Warner Bros Digital Networks.
"There's so much change going on right now and it's happening so fast, it's amazing to see it all," Lots told Deadline. Now young girls can see all kinds of characters and a lot of them aren't for anybody to come rescue them."” /> When I was young I went to the movies and it was Star Wars and the princess wearing a bikini was waiting to be rescued. "It feels like there's a real energy of making things better and using these shows and these stories to show fans of all kinds heroes that they haven't seen before and heroes that look like them. That's not a woman I wanted to be.
Filming began last summer on Wonder Woman 1984, which reunites director Patty Jenkins and star Gal Gadot for a sequel to the acclaimed 2017 hit. The movie's release has been pushed to June 5, 2020.
Sci-fi franchises like The Hunger Games, Alien, The Terminator and Resident Evil had already shown that genre fans were ready for heroic women to save the day in special-effects action. That changed with Wonder Woman and its $822 million in global box office.
The character will be a title character for the first time next year with the launch of Vision and the Scarlet Witch, a Disney+ streaming series. Also getting an upgrade: Marvel Studios star Elizabeth Olsen has played Scarlet Witch as a supporting character in four films to date.
A recent episode of Supergirl included an in-house commercial promoting SeeHer, a gender equality initiative. It included footage from the group's summit meeting on the Warner Bros. lot that included female creators and cast members from DC superhero shows. Representation is a watchword of the moment.
Sony is doing just that with the animated Spider-Women film. The studio has also discussed stand-alone live-action films for a trio of female heroes from Spider-Man comics: Black Cat, the Marvel Comics equivalent of Catwoman; Silver Sable, a mercenary-turned-monarch raised by a Nazi-hunting father; and Silk, a Korean-American with spider powers of her own.
The audience for super-hero fare is no longer as male-dominated as it was when Superman flew into film history in 1978. For instance, at San Diego's Comic Con International, the largest pop-culture convention in the world, ticket sales in recent years have been split fairly evenly between genders.
In March, Marvel Studios will release Captain Marvel starring Brie Larson as "the most powerful character" in the studio's cinematic universe, as Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has described her. Next summer, Larson joins the action in the fourth Avengers film. Also joining the fray: Pepper Potts (portrayed by Oscar winner Gwyneth Paltrow) who was introduced as a civilian in Iron Man a decade ago but is now getting armor or her own.
Marvel Studios released 19 films over the past decade but none had a female title character. Disney's Marvel Studios usually leads the way on superhero films but the brand is playing catch-up on the female superhero front. That changed this year with the 20th release, Ant-Man and the Wasp.
They are looking for new fresh female characters that are representative of the world around them." Einhorn added: "Audiences are tired of female characters that were created as weaker versions of established male-driven franchises.
Fox also has a new female hero arriving on screen in February with Alita: Battle Angel, an adaptation of the namesake manga series from producer James Cameron and director Robert Rodriguez. Both filmmakers have a history of strong female protagonists in genre films even when it was not as fashionable as it now.
(Bryce Dallas Howard and Emma Stone have played the role in Sony's live-action films.) This time, however, she's Spider-Gwen and has super powers of her own and a chance to rewrite her destiny. Black Widow isn't the only spider-named woman finding on-screen reinvention. 14, Sony's animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse hits theaters with Haille Steinfeld voicing the role of Gwen Stacy, a character that has been traditionally portrayed as a damsel-in-distress. On Dec.
Sophie Turner (Game of Thrones) plays the title character, a.k.a. Jean Grey, who (like her Marvel Studios counterpart Captain Marvel) is the most powerful hero in her screen mythology. Next June, Fox will release Dark Phoenix, the 11th film in its X-Men franchise.
It's been energized further by  #metoo movement and representational politics of the moment as well as the changing demographics of the Comic-Con fan world. Skeptics would point to the all-female revamp of Ghostbusters as a reminder that gender stunts with genre properties can fall flat. But the success of Wonder Woman has been a lighting-rod moment for a female "super-empowerment" craze.
The wave of female heroes extends to television and Hollywood's new high-profile streaming site launches as well. The result: More than a dozen female superhero film projects are in the pipeline from Sony, Fox, Disney's Marvel Studios and Warner Bros.
Earlier this year, Johansson framed the film with the language of liberation. "You know, she hasn’t always had that possibility." “I think there is definitely an opportunity to explore the Widow as a woman who has come into her own and is making independent and active choices for herself, probably for once in her life," the actress told Entertainment Tonight.
Not likely, says Heather Einhorn, CEO of Einhorn Epic Productions, which is developing a television series and graphic novel called The Curie Society that will introduce “an international secret society of young female scientists.” Will the supply exceed the demand? That potential audience is getting what they want with the huge wave of female superheroes.
9, Orange is the New Black actress Ruby Rose will introduce the character Batwoman on the CW series The Flash with an eye toward a stand-alone series of her own. If all goes as expected, next year Batwoman will be the first openly gay or lesbian title character in any DC or Marvel screen adaptation. On Dec.
Parents  surveyed were fully on board as well with 80 percent wanting more women in hero roles. Hollywood assumed for years that girls were apathetic about superhero fare while boys might be alienated by female leads. The study found an avid interest among girls with 85 percent expressing interest in seeing more female superheroes and science fiction protagonists. The study also showed a sizable majority of boys (69 percent) were also interested in seeing more women in those roles. A recent study conducted by Women's Media Group and BBC America found that those assumptions are no longer the case.
marketed the movie by promising the sky to moviegoers: "You'll believe a man can fly." Warner Bros. Forty years ago the big holiday hit was Superman, Hollywood's very first superhero blockbuster.
The studio has been releasing X-Men films for 18 years and they have prominently included three Oscar-winning actresses (Halle Berry, Anna Paquin, Jennifer Lawrence) but Dark Phoenix is the brand's first movie with a female title character.
shows on The CW since 2012. Her character was the first openly bisexual character in the screen history of DC and Marvel adaptations. White Canary, on the Warner Bros. Among them was Caity Lotz, who has portrayed Sara Lance, a.k.a. She said the responsibility and honor that goes with that milestone has created a special rapport with fans and is a sign of the times.
That view was only reinforced by radioactive failures like Supergirl (1984), Tank Girl (1994), Catwoman (2004) and Elektra (2005). In past decades, a superhero movie with a female title character was considered box-office kryptonite in most Hollywood circles.
It's no coincidence that the new Doctor Who is a woman, the next Star Wars film has a female Jedi knight as its central hero and that woman will command the bridge on a new Star Trek series as well.
The project joins a growing wave of female superhero projects in the works that will test the conventional assumption that the mask-and-cape genre is a "boy's only" genre. Deadline broke the news this week that Sony is ramping up a Spider-Women film that will feature three female iterations of Marvel's wall-crawling Spider-Man and a script by Bek Smith.
Now more than ever, we have an opportunity to create new ideas and complex characters that challenge the industry to move away from stale concepts." "There's always this idea that any kind of representation will cause an oversaturation and market fatigue," Einhorn said. "However, we are just getting started in creating different representations of dynamic women.
film Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) which is planned as an R-rated vehicle for Margot Robbie to reprise the Harley Quinn role she introduced in Suicide Squad. Mary Elizabeth Winstead co-stars as Huntress and Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Black Canary. In January, filming begins on the Warner Bros. The Harley Quinn character is a major fan-favorite and she's headed back to the big screen in a live-action film, too. Cathy Yan is directing.
The answer has been: Keep pushing." "It's one of those characters that a couple of years ago no thought would ever be seen in a movie," said Bob Persichetti, one of the animated film's three directors. "The excitement from fans and their response to idea at conventions and on-line has been amazing and wonderful. I was worried frankly about how far we could push the envelope on all of it.