Monday Morning Quarterback
By BOP Staff
May 30, 2012
Going through the motions
Kim Hollis: Almost ten years after Men in Black 2 opened to $52.1 million in three days, Sony returned to these established characters with Men in Black 3. The reunion of Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones opened to $54.5 million from Friday-through-Sunday and $69.3 million over the Memorial Day holiday period. It also has earned over $200 million worldwide in its first four days in release. Is this a good enough result for the studio?
Reagen Sulewski: Hey, look! They time traveled back to 2002 and brought back its box office! I doubt anyone's going to get fired over this result, but with the possible $300 million cost to this, there's a few people probably sweating whether this turns a profit or not. When you consider that this is a) a ten-years-later sequel to a film b) nobody really much liked and c) its lead hasn't been in a movie for almost four years, this is a pretty solid result. But that doesn't take into account whether it was a good idea in the first place, and with the overall "meh" response from the public, it's pretty clear that no one has any idea why this is even a thing.
Brett Beach: Hey, the studio was able to "truthfully" tout that it had the best three-day opening weekend of the entire series. I look at this result being problematic in that, unlike a Batman Begins following many years after a Batman and Robin, this isn't so much a reboot or a relaunch (or even the concluding part of a trilogy storyline) as simply another Men In Black film. I think fondly of the first one (when I think of it, which is frequently), but the second film was simply so "meh" that even after watching it again recently, the plot logistics fade from my head within minutes. That film was more expensive than the first (and it grossed a lot less) and this apparently is more expensive than those two combined (and certainly won't gross a lot more, domestic or internationally). The time travel hook may be the only thing that makes this stand out and aside from the 15-year old goodwill vibes and Will Smith's presence, this doesn't have anything in the way of relevance. It isn't, however, Battleship or John Carter, which means at least a little something.
Max Braden: I think that even though Will Smith's mustache looks like it's trying to slide off his face and slink away to the nearest bar, he's still got the name recognition to draw audiences looking for uncomplicated, charming fun. Grampa Simpson didn't ask for this movie, but daggonit, don't tell him not to go see it once it's out. But more than Will Smith, every conversation I've read or heard about MIB3 discussed Josh Brolin's impersonation of Tommy Lee Jones. That's once-in-a-generation casting serendipity, so you kind of have to go see it. (Well, I didn't. I can wait for DVD.) $55 million is a decent summer tentpole opening, acceptable given the star power, and excusable given the lapse of time and lack of demand for the series.