Should Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones Do 'Men in Black 4?'
Five years separated the original Men in Black from its immediate sequel. An additional 10 years came between Men in Black 2 and last weekend’s Men in Black 3. Does this mean we’re going to have to wait 15 years before Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones reunite for Men in Black 4?
Barry Sonnenfeld’s third Men in Black knocked The Avengers off of its box office perch, claiming an estimated $70 million in Memorial Day ticket sales (but only $55 million over the three-day, non-holiday weekend frame). Believe it or not, that puts the sequel right in line with the other two Men in Black movies, which opened to $51M (in 1997) and $$52M (in 2002).
It’s a pretty good – but not great – opening for Smith. MIB3 ranks ahead of Hitch ($43.1M) and I, Robot ($52.1M), but behind Hancock ($62.6M) and I Am Legend ($77.2M) when it comes to big-budget, spectacle openings. The decent opening for MIB3 reaffirms Smith’s presence as a star, but calls into question the need for a fourth film.
We’re going to get a little spoilery, so if you’ve yet to see Men in Black 3 and still plan on catching it in theaters, please click away.
The finale of Sonnenfeld’s latest seems to have brought some closure to the story, with Jones’ Agent K coming to terms with a difficult decision he made in the past regarding Agent J (Smith). The screenplay gives the two MIB agents a happy ending, but allows the franchise to go in a completely different direction if it wanted to.
Over the years, we’ve met other agents working for the MIB. This latest sequel also introduces a younger version of Agent K in Josh Brolin. Could the Men in Black series continue with new adventures set in the past? Would they simply introduce new agents and have Smith and Jones pass the torch? Would you continue following the series if it went in any of these directions?
The MIB films have a loyal audience, one that helps them open to pretty much the same number (low $50 millions) and climb to somewhere around $220M, domestically. Smith’s shining star helps the films perform globally, but it’s unclear whether Smith wants to return for a fourth go-round in the black suit and matching sunglasses. As of right now, Smith has the sci-fi epic After Earth on the docket for next summer. After that, though, it’s all rumors of a Bad Boys or Hancock sequel, with nothing confirmed.
So tell us, after checking out MIB3 this weekend, would you like to see producers move forward with a fourth film? Should they keep the same cast? Totally reboot? Or build a new series around Brolin’s younger Agent K? We’d love to hear your thoughts on the future (or past) of this lucrative franchise.
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Sean O'ConnellFandango Bloggers
Sean is a film reviewer for The Washington Post and daily contributor to Fandango.