Bad Boys for Life are back in a big way if the early Thursday preview box office is any indication. Will Smith and Martin Lawrence returned to the world-famous franchise for the first new installment in 17 years, but nostalgia is a powerful drug. Couple that name, face, and brand recognition with positive buzz and it’s easy to see why Bad Boys are the ones to beat at the box office battle this weekend.
The third feature in the 25-year-old franchise pulled in a January-best $6.36 million in Thursday night previews. With the benefit of a holiday weekend, Bad Boys for Life is tracking to bring in anywhere from $38 million on the low end to a very likely $50 million on the high side. The Thursday preview for Bad Boys for Life was more than that of either American Sniper or John Wick: Chapter 3, both of which went on to have big weekends; stay tuned. The R-rated actioner is directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah and also stars Vanessa Hudgens, Alexander Ludwig, Charles Melton, Paola Nunez, Kate del Castillo, Nicky Jam and Joe Pantoliano, who returns to the franchise alongside Smith and Lawrence.
The only real competition Bad Boys for Life has at the box office this weekend is Robert Downey Jr.‘s first post-MCU release, Doctor Dolittle. The PG-rated family film struggled to reach $1 million in previews, tallying only $925,000. It’s tracking for anywhere from $22 million to $28 million over the four-day weekend, which ain’t great for a film that reportedly cost $175 million to make before marketing costs pushed the bill over $200 million. But who knows, perhaps Bad Boys for Life will pull in the adults while Doctor Dolittle could bring in the family units.
Stay tuned for more box office coverage throughout the MLK weekend!