I can’t even go outside because the local birds keep dive-bombing me to get at all this egg on my face. Yes, I’ll admit it, I wasn’t convinced the world would embrace Big Willie Style in a Men in Black sequel when the franchise had lain fallow for a full decade. Clearly I should never have doubted the Fresh Prince, because not only did MIB 3 receive decent reviews, it just passed the $400 million mark worldwide according to Deadline.
To provide a little bit of perspective on that, the film has a reported budget of $230 million, so it’s already nearly doubled that. According to IMDb Pro, the latest U.S. gross is $135 million, so clearly the folks overseas are loving them some Men in Black. And at $411 million worldwide, the movie has almost caught up to Men in Black II‘s $426 million worldwide gross, but is still well below the original film’s $587 million worldwide. Of course, the original MIB was also fifteen years ago and sported a comparatively teeny budget of $90 million.
It just goes to show that you can’t overestimate the appeal of a fun bit of summer escapism, and if that escapism actually happens to be well written and well made, so much the better (just look at The Avengers). It’s also bound to be a relief for the producers of the upcoming SF flick After Earth, which stars Smith and is directed by M. Night Shyamalan. MIB 3 proves that Smith can still blow up the box office with the right material. If After Earth also proves to be the “right material,” maybe Will Smith is just the ingredient to give Shyamalan some of that old Sixth Sense magic back… God knows I’d love to have a good Shyamalan movie to help scour the memory of The Happening out of my brain.