‘Bad Boys For Life’ Lights Up the Weekend Box Office with $59 Million Opening

     January 19, 2020

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It’s official: Bad Boys For Life has secure the second-best Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend opening ever with $59 million domestic. This is Will Smith and Martin Lawrence‘s third time teaming up as Miami cop detective duo Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett after a 17-year break since 2003’s Bad Boys II. Despite the dry spell in between franchise installments, Bad Boys For Life was still able to reel in audiences over the long holiday weekend with the promises of big action setpieces and banter galore between its leading stars.

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Image via Sony Pictures

Sony Pictures is on a roll with their releases of late and Bad Boys For Life is just another sign of the studio’s successful slate. The A CinemaScore film averaged an impressive $15,675 per theater as it opened in 3,775 theaters nationwide. The third Bad Boys chapter also has the honor of the fifth biggest domestic January weekend ever, coming in behind Star Wars: The Force AwakensAmerican Sniper and AvatarBad Boys For Life officially has the best domestic opening weekend of any movie in the Bad Boys franchise, too. Back in 2003, Bad Boys II earned $46.5 million at the end of its mid-July opening weekend. As for the original, 1995’s Bad Boys, the Michael Bay-direct flick earned $15.5 million when it opened the first week of April. Bad Boys For Life is also the best reviewed Bad Boys movie with a 76% on Rotten Tomatoes. Bad Boys II sits at a 23% and Bad Boys has a 42%.

The MLK holiday weekend isn’t over just yet, so Bad Boys For Life is expected to do even better by adding to that $59 million and hitting a projected $68 million domestic total. Meanwhile, the film has opened to $37.3 million overseas. If Bad Boys For Life keeps it up internationally as well as on the home front, it will pass $100 million by the end of the long weekend. Considering this movie’s budget reportedly hovers in the $90 million+ range, this will be a massive and satisfying success for all involved.

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Image via Universal Pictures

But for every new movie which opens to major fanfare, there is also a new movie which opens to major disappointment. Alas, such is life. Bearing the burden of poor reviews and financial woes is Dolittle, directed by Stephen Gaghan (Syriana, Traffic) and starring Robert Downey Jr. as the titular Victorian-era vet who can talk to his animal patients. The Universal Pictures release earned $22.5 million domestic, averaging $5,422 per theater from 4,155 nationwide theaters total. Overseas, the family-friendly comedy earned $17 million from 42 markets. Dolittle earned a B CinemaScore and 18% on Rotten Tomatoes. In the months up to its release, Dolittle was mired in extensive reshoots, scheduling delays, and a title change. As such, expectations were extremely low considering the unofficial word on the street that getting Dolittle ready for theaters was a tough, rough road. This opening weekend will likely be nothing but heartache for Downey Jr.’s first non-MCU movie since Avengers: Endgame. Dolittle is projected to take in just $30 million total here in the U.S., a small portion of its reported $180 million budget. Universal is going to be left hurting especially since this opening weekend news comes on the heels of the catastrophe that was Cats, also a Universal release.

The other movies in the top five at this weekend’s box office emerge with some interesting results. Number three flick 1917 added $22.1 million to its pockets, bringing its overall domestic total up to $77 million. The awards season favorite from director Sam Mendes will likely continue to be at the top of the chart through the Academy Awards as audiences ostensibly seek it out to see why it’s earning so much acclaim. Jumanji: The Next Level slips down to number four and dips 32% from last weekend with $9.6 million earned domestically. At number five is Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. The Disney/Lucasfilm pic is poised to cross the $500 million mark in domestic sales at some point in the coming week as it adds $8.4 million over the weekend.

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Image via Warner Bros.

It’s a mixed bag of tricks and treats in the bottom half of this weekend’s box office chart. The Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx drama Just Mercy has made its way to number six with an even $6 million earned. These earnings bring its domestic total up to $19.6 million after a month in theaters. The latest drama from director Destin Daniel Cretton hasn’t been making too much of an impression in the box office race, instead rising in the rankings at a steady pace as it averages $2,442 per theater from 2,457 theaters nationwide. Another big treat is number eight movie Knives Out, which continues to thrive as it approaches $150 million domestic. This weekend, the Rian Johnson ensemble whodunit earned $4.3 million domestic as it marked two months in theaters. The movie has seen minimal week-to-week dips, with this week’s drop a mere 24%. Additional top 10 movies include Little Women at number seven with $5.9 million domestic, Like A Boss at number nine with $3.8 million domestic, and Frozen II at number 10 with $3.7 million domestic.

For more on this weekend’s new releases, check out our reviews of Bad Boys For Life and Dolittle. Plus, be sure to read up on what we know so far about Bad Boys 4 which was confirmed recently.

Rank Title Weekend Total
1. Bad Boys For Life $59,175,000 $59,175,000
2. Dolittle $22,530,000 $22,530,000
3. 1917 $22,140,000 $76,756,984
4. Jumanji/Next Level $9,565,000 $270,477,975
5. Rise of Skywalker $8,374,000 $492,019,801
6. Just Mercy $6,000,000 $19,612,643
7. Little Women $5,910,000 $84,401,052
8. Knives Out $4,300,000 $145,977,387
9. Like A Boss $3,840,000 $16,923,588
10. Frozen II $3,717,000 $464,868,690

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