So, in a surprising turn of events, moviegoers didn’t actually want a sequel to Men in Black II, a sequel that they didn’t want either, which was a sequel to the original Men In Black, a movie made in 1997. Making a sequel to a movie that was popular a terrifying 15 years ago is not a smart business move.
Scream 4 had the same problem as Men in Black III. It was a sequel to an old movie and the last sequel in the franchise wasn’t too popular. (Not that it’s preventing another Scream movie from being made anyway. It’s in the works.)
Men in Black 2 was released ten years ago in 2002 and it performed okay. 190 million domestic and 251 million foreign. Not great, but not expensive franchise sequel with megastar numbers. Compare that to the original movie which took in 250 million domestic and 338 million foreign. You can see why Sony didn’t rush in to make MIB 3.
Men in Black III has taken in only 135 million domestic and it’s sitting in the fourth spot. Over the next few weeks, it might take in another 10-15 million total, but not much more than that. So MIB 3 won’t even hit the MIB 2 mark. Its odds of reaching 190 million are poor.
The good news for bad movies is that American box office bombs still make some money internationally and MIB 3 has done that. Its foreign box office is at 352 million. That already tops the MIB 2 numbers, though you have to adjust for inflation. It also means that MIB 4 can’t be ruled out.
All the MIB movies had roughly similar opening weekends. What the original Men in Black had going for it was audiences that kept coming back for more. MIB 3 doesn’t really have that and it would be hard to have it when it’s sandwiched between The Avengers, Prometheus and a bunch of heavily promoted releases. MIB 3 is not a must see event and most of them are to at least some audience.
If an Men In Black 4 movie happens, who gets the blame\credit? China. MIB 3 took in almost 50 million dollars in China, despite the country’s ban on time travel movies. And another 40 million from Japan and South Korea. 10 million from Hong Kong and Singapore. That’s a 100 million from the Asian markets.
Why did Men in Black 3 do so well in Asia? Who knows. The concept might have been appealing. But it makes MIB 4 more likely because MIB 3 cracked a tricky market.