men in black3 poster*Will Smith is back on the big screen in the 3rd installment of the “Men In Black ” franchise.

Based on Friday’s receipts, “MIB3” will knock “The Avengers” out of the top spot for the first time in 4 weeks and will  be new box-office champ, according Deadline’s Nikki Finke.

And, yes, Sony’s new #1 Memorial Weekend movie Men In Black 3 will beat Marvel’s The Avengers which is starting its 4th week in domestic release. But I can’t ignore rival studio claims that the 3D scifi laugher is not looking quite as strong as Hollywood thought for North America or overseas. At first this just seemed to be sour grapes. But now it’s clear that the 3D scifi laugher playing in very wide release of 4,248 theaters looks to open in the range of $18M-$20M today and only $65M to $75M for the 4-day holiday. That’s not anywhere close to the $90M which Hollywood thought this popular franchise could open its threequel. This now makes the 5th major studio release that has underperformed at the start of Summer 2012, though not as badly as the others. Even overseas, depending on who’s analyzing, MIB3 is a mixed bag.

Read/learn more at Deadline.