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‘Men in Black: International’ continues the summer box office’s sequel slump

This image released by Sony Pictures shows Chris Hemsworth, foreground, and Tessa Thompson in a scen
Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson in a scene from Columbia Pictures’ “Men in Black: International.”
(Giles Keyte/Sony/Columbia Pictures)

Hollywood sequels have crashed and burned at the box office this summer, with just a handful of notable exceptions.

This weekend, Sony’s “Men in Black: International,” a spinoff of the Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones franchise, continued the trend, debuting in first place with a disappointing $28.5 million, according to estimates from measurement firm Comscore. (Analysts originally predicted that the film would earn about $30 million in North American receipts.) As a whole, the weekend was off 51.9% from a year ago, when “Incredible 2” opened to $182.7 million. The year-to-date total trails 2018 by 7.1%.

The opening is by far the lowest yet for the series, coming in behind the 1997 original’s $51-million opening, the sequel’s $52.1-million debut and the $54.6 million grossed during the opening weekend of “MIB 3.”

Starring Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth, the $110-million film cost less than half of 2012’s “MIB 3,” which featured a hefty $225-million price tag. The new “MIB” earned a mediocre B CinemaScore and negative reviews, with a 24% “rotten” rating on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes.

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In second place, Universal’s “The Secret Life of Pets 2" added $23.8 million in its second weekend (a 49% drop) for a cumulative $92 million.

At No. 3, Disney’s “Aladdin” added $16.7 million in its fourth weekend for a cumulative $263.4 million.

In fourth place, Fox’s “Dark Phoenix” added $9 million in its second weekend, a 73% drop, for a cumulative $51.7 million.

Rounding out the top five, Paramount’s “Rocketman” added $8.8 million in its third weekend for a cumulative $66.1 million.

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Also new this week, Warner Bros.’ “Shaft” came in in sixth place with $8.3 million, on par with analysts’ modest projections of $8 million.

The reboot stars Samuel L. Jackson as the titular private eye, and Jessie T. Usher as his son. It earned an A CinemaScore and poor reviews, posting a 35% “rotten” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

The studio’s “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” came in seventh, adding $8.1 million in its third weekend for a cumulative $93.7 million.

At No. 8, Lionsgate’s “John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum” added $6.1 million in its fifth weekend for a cumulative $148.6 million.

In ninth place, Amazon Studios’ “Late Night” struggled as it expanded into wide release in its second weekend with $5.1 million (a per-screen average of $2,314) for a cumulative $5.4 million.

Rounding out the top 10, Universal’s “Ma” added $3.6 million in its third weekend for a cumulative $40.3 million.

The final newcomer of the weekend, Focus Features’ “The Dead Don’t Die” opened outside of the top 10 with $2.3 million for a per-screen average of $3,827. The film stars Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Tilda Swinton, Danny Glover and other stars and currently stands at 53% “rotten” on Rotten Tomatoes.

In limited release, A24 expanded “The Last Black Man in San Francisco” into 36 locations from seven to $361,120 for a per-screen average of $10,031 and a cumulative $713,286.

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CBS Films expanded the documentary “Pavarotti” into 29 additional screens for a total of 40 to $200,000 for a per-screen average of $4,168 and a cumulative $429,000.

Greenwich Entertainment’s “Echo in the Canyon” added 25 locations and $197,200 in its fourth weekend, a per-screen average of $2,900 and a cumulative $795,488.

This week, Disney and Buena Vista premiere the animated “Toy Story 4,” United Artists Releasing reveals the horror reboot “Child’s Play,” Lionsgate opens “Anna,” and Neon debuts the comedy drama “Wild Rose.”

sonaiya.kelley@latimes.com

follow me on twitter @sonaiyak


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