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Will Smith Movie Jolting Summer Box Office Back to Life

Will Smith Movie Jolting Summer Box Office Back to Life

If early weekend estimates are correct, Sony’s buddy action comedy Bad Boys: Ride or Die could help jolt the battered summer office back to life back to life with a domestic box opening of $53 million. Moreover, it could help put Smith on the road to a career comeback after the infamous slap.

Bad Boys 4, reuniting Smith with Martin Lawrence in the fourth outing in Sony’s long-running series, earned generally positive reviews and, perhaps more importantly, an A- CinemaScore. Black movigoers made up the largest quadrant of the audience, of 44 percent.

Friday’s haul of $21.6 million included $5.9 million in Thursday night preview. Ride or Die is arguably the first film of simmer to come in ahead of tracking, which had it opening to $48 million to $50 mollion. And it would be the second biggest behind Kingdom Planet of the Apes.

Ride or Die is the follow-up to Bad Boys for Life, which earned $6.4 million in Thursday previews on its way to a $62 million opening weekend. Opening in January 2020, it went on to earn $426 million at the global box office before theaters were shut due to the global pandemic.

Will Smith and Martin Lawrence return in Ride or Die as Miami cops Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett, who have to go on the run after their late police captain gets linked to drug cartels and they attempt to clear his name. Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah (billed as Adil & Bilall) directed Bad Boys: Ride or Die from a script written by Chris Bremner and Will Beall.

The film marks the first major theatrical return for Smith since he slapped Chris Rock during the live telecast of the 2022 Oscars. The Hollywood Reporter learned that his agents at CAA have been calling studio production execs for the first time since the slap, with the hope that Smith’s next film can be announced quickly after the release of Ride or Die, should it perform at the box office.

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Also opening this weekend is Ishana Night Shyamalan’s supernatural thriller The Watchers, produced by her father M. Night Shyamalan. That film is looking at $8 million to $10 million.

More to come.

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