‘Men in Black 3’ gets lots of green

Though"Men in Black 3"struggled to make it to the big screen, the third installment in the sci-fi comedy franchise has had no trouble at the box office.

This past weekend, the movie starring Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones and Josh Brolin surged past the $500-million milestone at the worldwide box office. Distributor Sony Pictures said the movie has grossed approximately $391.6 million from 79 foreign countries, performing best in Japan and Russia. Combined with the film’s estimated domestic tally of $152.7 million, the movie has now collected about $544.3 million globally.

That’s good news for the Culver City studio and Hemisphere Media Capital, which together spent nearly $250 million to produce the picture — making it one of the most expensive releases of 2012. The production of “MIB3" was marked by problems, mainly a serious script rewrite that prompted shooting to be delayed for three months.

Time will soon tell whether “MIB3" can catch up with its predecessors. “Men in Black,” released in 1997, grossed $589 million globally; adjusting for inflation, that’s equivalent to $843 million in today’s dollars. “Men in Black 2,” which was not as well received as the original, made $441.8 million in 2002; in today’s dollars, that would be about $564 million.