Sony Exec On Why “MIB: International” Failed

Sony Exec On Why Mib International Failed

Considered one of the biggest duds of the Summer, and the most critically reviled of the blockbuster of the season (even more so than “Dark Phoenix”), the recent “Men in Black International” will still make enough money that Sony Pictures won’t take a huge loss on it.

Nonetheless, Sony Pictures Chairman Tom Rothman recently spoke with Business Insider about the film’s failure to meet the expectations the studio had for it.

The hope was it would relaunch the franchise in a big way, much like the massive success that the sequel to the seemingly dead brand “Jumanji” had. That didn’t happen. The film now sits at $245 million at the global box office from a $110 million budget, and it failed to break $100 million domestically. Of those disappointing results, Rothman says:

“Have we had misses? Men in Black: International wasn’t particularly a financial disappointment because at the end of the day it’s going to do $250 and $300 million worldwide, but it certainly wasn’t a restart in the way that we hoped it would be.

I think the truth of the matter is the audience really liked that film and the cast was wonderful, Tessa [Thompson] and Chris [Hemsworth] were great and did a terrific job, but if we made any mistake, I think it probably was that there was not a strong enough idea in the story. Especially when you compare that to, say, Jumanji, which had a very, very strong idea.

So the lesson of it is we have a pretty darn good batting average around here, but you are never going to bat 1.000, and you need to continue to take risks. But you have to try to manage risk. In the case of Men in Black, we had two co-financiers on that movie and that manages the risk. I really do believe you cannot eliminate risk in the movie business. If you try to eliminate risk, you will eliminate creativity, and if you eliminate creativity, you will eliminate success.”

Reviews slammed the film for its writing and characters, the waste of good talent like stars Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson who have shown a proven chemistry before, and just the overall tiredness and blandness of the production which seemed so heavily fixated on style that it forgot to be about… anything really.

Rothman still believes in the franchise though, saying: “So Men in Black remains a very important asset that the company owns, and I would be very surprised if that is the last movie.”