The Men in Black are back. The latest entry in the alien policing franchise topped the box office this weekend, becoming the first movie to best The Avengers, which has been sailing high at the top of the charts since early May.
Men in Black III won the weekend with a solid, if not exactly eye-popping, $55 million take. It’s on pace to earn a respectable $70 million total over the 3-day, holiday weekend. Will Smith is sure to be the top choice for off-of-workers looking to spend their Memorial Day at a movie theater.
Though it’s not exactly a success in the rage of The Avengers and its record-breaking totals, it’s worth noting that Men in Black III is at least outpacing its predecessor. Men in Black II opened at $52 million on its way to a $190 million domestic gross back in 2002. It probably helps that MIB III is just, well, better.
Men in Black II scored a pretty dismal 39% fresh rating with critics when it debuted. Men in Black III has a rather nice 69% and, audiences who weren’t already so scarred by the last one that they won’t come back no matter what, are responding.
Science Fiction has well and truly dominated the summer box office this year. All three of the movies on top right now (MIB, The Avengers, and Battleship) involve alien invasion plots. Meanwhile even though its been out for months, The Hunger Games and its dystopian future are still in the box office top ten. It came in this week at number nine in the United States.