Box Office: ‘Bad Boys for Life’ Scores Big With $66 Million Launch

Bad Boys for Life” is showing plenty of power at the North American box office with an impressive  launch of around $66 million at 3,740 venues over the four-day holiday weekend.

Sony’s sequel to 1995’s “Bad Boys” and 2003’s “Bad Boys II” far exceeded the studio’s pre-release forecasts of a $38 million weekend. The film, which generated an A Cinemascore and a five-star rating on PostTrak, reunites Will Smith and Martin Lawrence as old-school cops taking down the leader of a Miami drug cartel, and carries a $90 million production budget.

Bad Boys for Life” will wind up with the second-highest take for the Martin Luther King Jr. weekend after “American Sniper” at  $107.2 million and well ahead of “Ride Along” at $48 million. It’s also well above the $46 million opening for “Bad Boys II.” Sony Pictures is already developing a fourth “Bad Boys” with screenwriter Chris Bremner returning.

Universal’s opening of its fantasy-adventure “Dolittle” should wind up second with $31 million at 4,155 locations. Although the Robert Downey Jr. vehicle is showing a weekend total somewhat above earlier predictions of $22-$25 million, “Dolittle” will need to show staying power in coming weeks to recoup its $175 million budget, which is substantially higher than many family comedies.

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Universal’s “1917,” which won last weekend impressively with $37 million, is leading the rest of the pack with an estimated $26.6 million at 3,612 sites for the four days. The World War I epic picked up 10 Oscar nominations on Monday, including a best picture nod.

The sixth weekend of Sony’s “Jumanji: The Next Level” is edging out the fifth frame of Disney’s “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.” The “Jumanji” sequel should wind up the weekend with $12.7 million at 3,323 sites for a domestic total of about $273 million and “Skywalker” will add on $10.4 million to go past the $493 million mark for North America.

Warner Bros.’ legal drama “Just Mercy” was heading for sixth place with about $7.6 million at 2,457 locations to push it to about $21 million after four weeks. Sony’s fourth frame of “Little Women,” which scored six Oscar nominations, followed with about $7.3 million at 2,503 venues to lift its North American total past $85 million.

“Bad Boys for Life,” from directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, has generated a mostly positive critical reception, with a 75% score on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s produced by Smith, Jerry Bruckheimer and Doug Belgrad.

“Dolittle” stars Downey as a veterinarian able to talk to animals. Stephen Gaghan directed “Dolittle,” which centers on the title character seeking a cure to nurse the young Queen Victoria of England back to health. Antonio Banderas and Michael Sheen star in live-action roles, while the voice cast includes Rami Malek, Kumail Nanjiani, Octavia Spencer, Emma Thompson, Tom Holland, Selena Gomez, Marion Cotillard and John Cena.

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