Hollywood sequels have crashed and burned at the box office this summer, with just a handful of notable exceptions.
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 predicted the film would earn about $30 million in North America.) As a whole, last 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, the sequel's $52.1 million and the $54.6 million for "MIB 3."
Starring Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth, the $110 million movie cost less than half of 2012's "MIB 3," which featured a hefty $225 million price tag. The new "MIB" earned a B CinemaScore and negative reviews, with a 24% "rotten" rating on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes.
In second place, Universal's "The Secret Life of Pets 2" added $23.8 million in its second weekend.
At No.3, Disney's "Aladdin" added $16.7 million in its fourth weekend.
In fourth place, Fox's "Dark Phoenix" added $9 million in its second weekend.
Rounding out the top five, Paramount's "Rocketman" added $8.8 million in its third weekend.
Also new over the weekend, 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.
At No.8, Lionsgate's "John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum" added $6.1 million in its fifth weekend.
In ninth place, Amazon Studios' "Late Night" struggled as it expanded into wide release in its second weekend, with $5.1 million.
Rounding out the top 10, Universal's "Ma" added $3.6 million in its third weekend.
The final newcomer of the weekend, Focus Features' "The Dead Don't Die," opened outside the top 10 with $2.3 million. The picture's stars include Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Tilda Swinton and Danny Glover 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 for $361,120, for a per-screen average of $10,031, and a cumulative $713,286.
CBS Films expanded the documentary "Pavarotti" into 29 additional screens for a total of 40 to $200,000 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."