Thursday, September 13, 2012

Box Office Report: 'Men in Black 3' Launches With $1.6 Million in Midnight ... - Hollywood Reporter

Men in Black 3 Josh Brolin Will Smith - H 2012

Wilson Webb/Columbia Pictures

"Men in Black 3"

Sony's 3D Memorial tentpole Men in Black 3 grossed $1.6 million in Thursday midnight runs at the domestic box office.

MIB 3 is an important test for the marquee franchise, as well as Smith's star status. MIB 3 returns Barry Sonnenfeld in the director's chair and is expected to gross $85 million to $90 million for the four-day holiday weekend, easily taking the box office crown away from The Avengers (now in its fourth weekend) but sitll lagging behind top Memorial Day performers in years past.

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Hollywood is already resigned to the fact that MIB 3 won't reach the levels of last year's The Hangover Part II, which opened nationwide on the Thursday before Memorial Day weekend and grossed a whopping $10.4 million in Wednesday midnight on its way to earning $135 million for the four days.

MIB 3 -- costing close to $230 million to produce -- also is rolling out overseas, and Sony is hopeful that the event pic will clear $200 million worldwide in its debut.

Domestically, MIB 3 could hit $20 million on Friday, including midnight earnings.

The movie, also headlining Josh Brolin and Tommy Lee Jones, opens a decade after Men in Black II debuted, but Sony is still making a big play for kids who don't necessarily remember the franchise. If that happens, the pic could see a strong business on Saturday and Sunday, as well as Monday.

MIB 3 fared better in its midnight performance than last weekend's action tentpole Battleship, which only earned $650,000 on its way to a dismal $25.5 million three-day weekend opening.

Alcon Entertainment and Warner Bros. horror pic Chernobyl Diaries grossed roughly $525,000 in midnight earnings.

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