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Will Smith On Pace To Break Own B.O. Record With 'MIB II'

Posted Friday, July 5, 2002 at 4:06 PM Central

by Tim Briscoe

Will Smith is a Yankee Doodle Dandy. No, he wasn't born on the Fourth Of July, but his movies released on July 4 have given birth to big bucks at the box office.

His latest, Men In Black II (a.k.a. MIB II), is set to break the July 4 weekend box office record he set with Independence Day in 1996 with $85 million. He almost bested his record in 1997 with the original MIB which grossed $79.3 million (Wednesday through Sunday).

MIB II earned an estimated $19 million Wednesday on its opening day of release -- the second best Wednesday opening ever behind Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace. It added more fireworks on Thursday with an additional $17 million. Prognosticators expect the sequel to do $85-$90 this weekend when it's all said and done on Monday.

Mr. July 4th had yet another film released during the holiday, Wild Wild West. The film didn't live up to expectations with just $49.7 million its opening weekend in '99. Sony (Men In Black's distributor) is hoping he can do it again next year with another sequel, Bad Boys 2. The film is scheduled for release on during the 2003 holiday.