Weekend Box Office – MEN IN BLACK 3 Leads Muted Memorial Day with $55 Million

     May 27, 2012


We all knew that Men in Black 3 would wind up overtaking The Avengers after three weeks of record-breaking dominance. What we didn’t know was that that would wind up as MIB3’s sole accomplishment this weekend. With a huge release in 4,248 locations, and on one of the biggest movie-going weekends of the year, MIB3 is not exactly setting the box office on fire with its three-day estimate of $55 million.

Title Weekend Total
1 Men in Black 3 $55,000,000 $55
2 The Avengers $36,987,000 $513.6
3 Battleship $10,754,000 $44.2
4 The Dictator $9,600,000 $41.4
5 Dark Shadows $8,000,000 $62.9
6 Chernobyl Diaries $7,515,000 $7.5
7 What to Expect When You’re Expecting $7,150,000 $22.1
8 Best Exotic Marigold Hotel $6,350,000 $16.5
9 The Hunger Games $2,200,000 $395.2
10 Think Like A Man $1,400,000 $88.2


We had high hopes for May when The Avengers opened to record-breaking numbers four weeks back. And then, after one highly-touted, would-be-big movie after another failed at the box office, things started to look a little less sanguine. The latest to suffer in the shadow of Marvel’s megahit? Sony’s much-hyped Men in Black 3. Though the threequel made enough to shake The Avengers out of first place, that shouldn’t be a noteworthy feat at this point. Very few movies stay at number one for four weeks, and almost never during the competitive early summer months. Plus, for a film with the pedigree and price tag of MIB3, anything less than number one would have been a shock.

Once expected to top $90 million through Monday’s holiday, MIB3’s weekend estimate now points to a Memorial Day total of $70 million or less. For comparison, Disney is expecting to earn another $48 million for The Avengers through Monday – kind of incredible considering that, by that time, the Marvel heroes will have been in theatres for 25 days. And, just to underscore how capable The Avengers are of maintaining the spotlight, on Saturday the film crossed the $500 million mark in the US after just 23 days. Once again, they did that in record time: the only record that is likely to fall this holiday frame.

Though 2011 was not the most memorable movie year, last Memorial Day did set a box office gross record, largely on the strength of The Hangover Part II which earned almost $86 million in its first weekend. The same holiday frame also saw a big debut from Kung Fu Panda 2 and strong holdovers like Pirates of the Caribbean 4, Bridesmaids and Thor.

chernobyl diaries posterOne year later, our bench is not nearly as deep. This weekend’s only other offering was the widely-panned Chernobyl Diaries, which took in just $7.5 million (estimated) from 2,433 locations. That means that it probably won’t pass $10 million through its first four days: a bad sign on any weekend. Add that to the fact that Battleship, The Dictator and Dark Shadows all under-performed, and 2012’s Memorial Day total is headed down by at least 30% over 2011.

Of course summer is far from over. This month may have been dominated by one exceptional release but there is still a lot to look forward to in June and July. As for Men in Black 3 – like Dark Shadows and Battleship before it – the hope is for a big international turnout to balance out the film’s giant budget (rumored to be anywhere from $225 to $300 million).  For the first weekend of June, early projections have Snow White and the Huntsman nearly matching MIB3 with a three-day (non-holiday) launch of $50 million; and if you had told me twelve months ago that the year’s second Snow White movie would get close to the return of Will Smith and the iconic Men in Black franchise I’m not sure I would have believed you. So much for the King of Summer.


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  • ipolos

    “So much for the king of summer”

    The fact that anyone expected MIB 3 to make 90M in its opening weekend is ridiculous. The series has been dormant for over a decade, and will smith hasnt made a movie in 4 years. A 4-day total of 70M is not that bad. The movie just never looked that appealing or necessary (I watched it and enjoyed it, the ending is a tear-jerker). The only reason it’s even gonna make 70M is Will Smith, so yeah, in a way, he’s king :)

    • Nate

      I’m inclined to agree. A $90 million opening for MIB3?? Somebody was drinking the Kool-Aid over at Sony to have believed that possible. I’d say $70 million ain’t half bad for a dormant franchise opening in the shadow of the colossus that is The Avengers.

      • PowellSheryl6

        just as Joel implied I’m amazed that anyone can get paid $6608 in a few weeks on the internet. did you look at this site..OnlineCash5.NotlonG.CoM

    • mee

      thank you! 100% agree with you. don’t understand how they estimated $90.

  • Matthew

    Pathetic numbers for Battleship.

  • murdernexxus

    that thing will smith is drivin looks like Mr Garrisons invention the ‘IT’… lol

    • Traffick

      Haha hell yeah and judging by his smile it looks like he’s mounted the same way too.

  • Travis

    Pedersen REALLY loves those AVENGERS, doesn’t she? Learn to let go, hun. It was an awesome movie, this is true, and it has it’s rightful place in cinema. But the movie has run it’s course.

    Time to move on already…to PROMETHEUS and THE DARK KNIGHT RISES!

    • Irastev

      This is Collider’s weekly feature about this week’s box office. Guess what: Prometheus and TDKR are not in this week’s box office.

      • Travis

        Big fat DUH dude. That last sentence was a statement in relation to other movies opening this summer, not what’s currently in theaters. You totally misunderstood the entire understanding of the last part of my post, no offense.

  • Masshuu il Thulcandra

    I can’t believe MIB III has done this well. It looks even more stupid than the first two. I couldn’t even sit through the second one and won;t even bother to watch this when it comes to free TV! I predict “THE AVENGERS will retake the number one slot next week. Even if it doesn’t MIB III will tank below it.
    BATTLESHIP? Did they even release that movie yet?

    • Strong Enough

      LMAOO so you expect the Avengers to beat Snow White and the huntsman after it fell to number two THIS WEEK?

      ur funny

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  • mattinacan

    MIB3 was a good movie. not as good as the first, but a close second. great special effects, great creatures, great badguy, touching ending, but it could have been funnier.

  • thaRiddler

    I honestly believe that most casual movie goers are saving their money for Spider-man or either the Dark Knight Rises. In addition these could be a sign that rottentomates is finally starting to influence consumers wallets. If a film doesn’t have a high enough rating it could make less money. Just a thought :-/

  • Tim

    Remember everyone, this has made almost $200 million worldwide.


    Well, I think its 2 main factors,

    1, were in a recession and ticket prices are higher than ever!

    2, This is possibly the first year since i can remember when there seems to be an influx of giant “must see” epic movies! Some will take precidence over others.

    We just had Avengers, yet next week we have Promethius, then TDKR and snow white, we got 007 this year, Hobbit, Spiderman, Judge Dredd, etc etc and other films that arent so well advertised. Cant afford to go cinema that often so its choose wisely time. Wish John Carter faired better, glad Battlseship sunk! in a year where there are massive hitters, you gotta make outstanding quality films hollywood!