Shaft Vs. MIB International at the Box Office: Who'll Win the Weekend?

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Last weekend proved to be yet another rough one for the summer movie season at the box office. The Secret Life of Pets 2 prevailed with a $46.6 million take, but that was on the lower side of expectations. Meanwhile, Dark Phoenix set a new low for the X-Men franchise with $32.8 million. This weekend sees four newcomers hitting theaters, led by Sony’s Men In Black: International. Warner Bros.’ is also releasing Shaft, with Amazon going wide with Late Night and Focus Features will unleash The Dead Don’t Die. But will any of them be enough to give some juice to the summer movie season?

Men In Black: International, which comes from director F. Gary Gray (Straight Outta Compton), serves as something of a reboot for the long-running franchise. This time, it’s Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson in the lead, making for a Thor: Ragnarok reunion. Despite the fact that critics, generally speaking, aren’t buying what Sony is selling (the movie currently boasts a 34 percent on Rotten Tomatoes), it’s still expected to come out on top of the box office with a take between $30 and $40 million. But considering its reported $110 million production budget, that’s not necessarily a great start.

Illumination’s The Secret Life of Pets 2 will likely slip just one spot to number two this weekend with a take in the neighborhood of $25 million. The family-friendly flick has earned $108 million globally, as of this writing, in its first week of release. Next up should be Shaft, which brings Samuel L. Jackson back to the role. This time, he’s teaming up with his son, played by Jessie Usher, with Richard Roundtree also returning as the original Shaft. The Tim Story-directed sequel is expected to take in between $15 and $25 million.

Related: 3 Generations of Shaft Unite as Son of Shaft Begins Shooting

The weekend’s other newcomers won’t be putting up such big numbers. Late Night, which stars Mindy Kaling and Emma Thompson (who also appears in Men In Black: International, as it just so happens), has been earning rave reviews since its debut at Sundance earlier this year. Amazon scooped up the rights to the movie and gave it a limited release weekend. In its expansion, it should earn between $5 and $8 million. That’s not a huge number, but it could easily do well thanks to word of mouth in the weeks to come.

Director Jim Jarmusch’s zombie comedy The Dead Don’t Die is this week’s big question mark. Its stellar cast includes Bill Murray, Adam Drive and Tilda Swinton. Critics have been mixed on this one and it’s set to open in about 550 theaters to start. It’s expected to net between $2 and $3 million. It will be interesting to see how this one does in the weeks to come. The top five will be rounded out by a pair of holdovers in the form of Disney’s Aladdin and Dark Phoenix, which should both be in the $15 to $17 million range. Be sure to check out our full list of weekend box office predictions below and check back with us on Sunday for a full list of estimates. Numbers used in this report were provided by Box Office Mojo.

1 Men In Black: International
2 The Secret Life of Pets 2
3 Shaft
4 Aladdin
5 Dark Phoenix
6 Rocketman
7 Godzilla: King of the Monsters
8 Late Night
9 John Wick 3: Parabellum
10 Ma

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