Box Office: ‘Bad Boys 4’ Rides to $56 Million in Opening Weekend

Turns out, Bad Boys are good for ticket sales.

Sony’s “Bad Boys: Ride or Die,” the fourth entry in the Will Smith and Martin Lawrence-led buddy cop series, started strong with $56 million from 3,885 theaters in its domestic debut. The film also opened at the international box office with $48.6 million, bringing its worldwide tally to $104.6 million.

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The sequel to 1995’s “Bad Boys,” 2003’s “Bad Boys II” and 2020’s “Bad Boys for Life” is notable as Smith’s first major film to grace the big screen since he assaulted Chris Rock on stage at the 2022 Oscars. So what should Hollywood take away from “Bad Boys” in its fourth go-around? Well, audiences haven’t soured on Smith — though it helps that he returned to theaters in a time-tested and generally well-received franchise.

Although it’s not cementing any franchise records (“Bad Boys for Life” remains the biggest opening of the quartet with $62 million), “Bad Boys 4” is a needed jolt for movie theater owners. It’s been a slow May and June with underperforming blockbusters like Universal’s action comedy “The Fall Guy” and the Warner Bros. sci-fi prequel “Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga.” So, Hollywood and exhibitors are hoping that “Bad Boys” will provide the momentum that’s necessary to heat up moviegoing in the remainder of June — with releases like Pixar’s “Inside Out 2” (June 14) and “A Quiet Place: Day One” (June 28) — through August.

Moviegoers were more receptive than critics to “Bad Boys: Ride or Die,” which landed an “A-” CinemaScore but so-so 64% on Rotten Tomatoes. Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah returned to direct the fourth film, following detectives Mike and Marcus as they investigate corruption within the Miami Police Department. But after a setup turns them into fugitives, the duo is forced to work outside the law to solve a case. “Ride or Die” cost $100 million, so it’s well-primed in its theatrical run. However, it may not topple “Bad Boys for Life” as the franchise’s highest-grossing installment with $206 million domestically and $426 million globally.

“Very few action comedies get to four episodes — the jokes start to run thin and the stories get repetitive — but when they do, they hold up well,” says David A. Gross of movie consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research. “‘Bad Boys’ is in elite company, and the series has room to run.”

Sony had a celebratory weekend with the No. 1 and 2 spots at the box office as “The Garfield Movie” claimed second place with $10 million. After three weekends of release, the animated “Garfield” has grossed $68.6 million in North America and $155 million globally. It’s a solid showing for the $60 million-budgeted family film.

This weekend’s other newcomer, Dakota Fanning’s supernatural horror film “The Watchers,” stumbled to fourth place with a soft $7 million from 3,351 venues. Neither critics nor audiences liked the film (it holds a terrible “C-” CinemaScore and 29% on Rotten Tomatoes), which explains why “The Watchers” fell short of expectations. Ishana Night Shyamalan, the daughter of filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan, directed the film for Warner Bros. It follows a 28-year-old artist who gets stranded in a remote forest in Ireland and then gets stalked by mysterious creatures.

“The Watchers” landed on box office charts behind Paramount’s kids film “IF,” which took the No. 3 slot with $8 million from 3,582 locations in its fourth weekend of release. The movie, directed by John Krasinski and starring Ryan Reynolds, started slow but has since rebounded with $93.5 million domestically and $145 million worldwide. Yet the studio spent $110 million to produce “IF,” so the film still requires outsized returns to justify its budget.

Disney and 20th Century’s “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” rounded out the top five with $5.5 million from 3,155 theaters. After five weekends on the big screen, the fourth chapter in the “Apes” reboot franchise has earned $149 million in North America and $337 globally to stand as the fourth-highest-grossing movie of the year. But it’s not close to reaching the box office levels of its franchise predecessors: 2011’s “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” (481 million), 2017’s “War for the Planet of the Apes” ($490 million) and 2014’s “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” ($710 million). Plus, the newest entry carries a hefty $160 million price tag, so it needs to keep playing on the big screen to get into the black.

More to come…

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