Box Office: ‘Men in Black: International’ and ‘Shaft’ Belly Flop

Disney/Pixar’s “Toy Story 4” can’t come soon enough to buoy the floundering summer box office. This weekend’s openings are pathetic. Franchise reboot “Men in Black: International” (Sony) and the second remake of “Shaft” (Warner Bros.) together grossed under $37 million. Two summers ago, when “War for the Planet of the Apes” opened to “only” $56 million, it was considered low enough to threaten the future of that series.

Both of this weekend’s sequels were directed by proven veterans with domestic totals approaching $1 billion: F. Gary Gray (“The Fate of the Furious” and “Straight Outta Compton”) and Tim Story (“Fantastic Four” and “Ride Along”), who will doubtless return to making popular movies.

As a sign of the times, “Men in Black” still managed to place #1, while “Shaft” crept into sixth place. Studio greenlighters consider franchise entries to be the major reason theater doors stay open, but they keep failing to draw stateside moviegoers.
See full article at Indiewire »

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