And just when you thought the franchise was done. Not-so-fast my friends, apparently.
We're very pleased with the financial performance of Men in Black 3, and we believe it is an ongoing franchise. We're going to do [another one], but we don't have clarity yet on how it should be done.
Words from Columbia Pictures Chief Douglas Belgrad, speaking to The Hollywood Reporter today.
I haven't even seen Men In Black 3 yet; Why? absolutely zero interest. I was content with the first 2, and, quite frankly, they waited too long to do a third and any enthusiasm I may have had for it years ago vanished as I got older.
I will see it eventually though. I'm just in no rush at all.
But no matter; my vote doesn't mean anything because the film has grossed over $175 million domestically ($600 million worldwide) thus far; kind of quietly too it feels like doesn't it? There just doesn't seem to be as much fanfare as there was with the last 2 movies in the franchise – both outgrossing the 3rd film (adjusted for inflation) although the 3rd film is still in theaters (however, given how much space there is between it and the first two, I don't think it'll catch either of them).
Adjusted for inflation, the first MIB movie grossed $432,564,100; the second, $259,572,600. And as noted, the 3rd is currently at $175 million (all domestic).
But I suppose that $600+ million worldwide gross for #3 (suggesting that the film made the bulk of its gross outside of the USA), is probably encouragement enough for Sony/Columbia to want to do a 4th.
The question is whether Will Smith will want to return. He's already hinted at staying away from sequels of his past films, although, with specific regard to the MIB franchise, he did also say that if the fans wanted a 4th movie, he'd consider it. Do the fans want a 4th? The global box office tally might suggest that they do; but keep in mind the film's production budget was $225 million, making it the most expensive MIB film in the franchise; the first costs $122 million; the second, $190 million (both adjusted for inflation).
But I really doubt that Will Smith would come back for another, no matter what the money situation is. I could be wrong, but I just get a sense that he's pretty much done with the franchise.
How long will they wait to get it done? As Belgrad says, they don't have any clarity yet on how it should be done. I won't be surprised if they introduced a whole new team, in a passing of the baton sequence that does include the previous team, which would be their only contribution to a 4th movie.