Bad Boys for Life Tops MLK Box Office
Beating even the most optimistic predictions, Sony Pictures action comedy sequel Bad Boys for Life starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence topped the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend (Jan. 17-20) box office with $62.50 million over the three-day weekend and $73.03 million over the four-day holiday delivering the second largest MLK weekend gross ever, topping 2014’s Ride Along, which opened with $48.63 million.
That is about in line with 2003’s sequel Bad Boys II, which opened with $46.52 million or $70.60 million adjusted for ticket price inflation. But that film opened in July instead of January and was at the peak of Smith’s stardom, making Bad Boys for Life’s nearly even opening even more impressive.
For comparison, Smith’s similar action movie Gemini Man underperformed in October with only $55.99 million total — a number Bad Boys for Life exceeded in its opening weekend. Compared to other similar action sequels or reboots in the past year, Bad Boys for Life beat both the $17.80 million total of November’s Charlie’s Angels and the $21.36 million total of June’s Shaft on its opening Friday alone.
While the records are great, some of the best news the film could receive began with the solid critical response followed by a welcome audience reaction, resulting in excellent ratings from both. As for that crowd, the opening weekend audience was 55% male with 61% of the crowd age 25 or older.
Finishing in second place also with a better-than-expected performance was fellow newcomer Universal Pictures’ Dolittle with $28.30 million over the four-day holiday and $21.84 million over the three-day weekend, although its future is looking considerably less rosy.
The family adventure is Robert Downey Jr.’s first starring role since he officially retired from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It fared a bit better than initial expectations despite truly savage reviews. The better-than-expected performance can be chalked up to Downey’s star appeal among both children and their parents, although with a budget of $175 million it looks like an uphill battle for the reboot of the storied Doctor Dolittle franchise, which last hit theaters with 2001’s Dr. Dolittle 2 starring Eddie Murphy. While audiences have given the film better marks than critics, the film will need to do stronger business overseas to overcome its burdensome price tag. The opening weekend crowd was 51% female with 43% of the audience aged 25 or older.
In third place for the four-day holiday, Universal’s WWI drama 1917 held up well in its second weekend of wide release with $21.38 million three-day and $26.91 million four-day, a 40.6% drop from the previous Friday-Sunday period. The domestic total for the acclaimed Sam Mendes-directed film, which racked up an impressive 10 Oscar nominations last week including Best Picture, now stands at $81.52 million.
Sony’s Jumanji: The Next Level finished fourth with $9.70 million over the three-day weekend and $12.66 million from the four-day holiday in its sixth weekend of release, bringing the total for the family adventure to $273.57 million in North America to date. That represents a slip of 30.8% from the previous three-day weekend.
Walt Disney Studios’ Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker fell short of Jumanji for the first time in its fifth weekend of release, dropping 45.4% to take in $8.23 million over the three-day period and $10.59 million over the four-day holiday. With a domestic total of $494.24 million to date, it now sits just shy of $500 million and should cross that threshold by sometime next weekend.
On the heels of six Oscar nominations including Best Picture was Sony’s Little Women, which came in sixth with $6.36 million over the three-day weekend, a slip of 18.5%, and $8.23 million over the four-day period. It now has grossed $86.72 million domestically through the end of its fourth weekend, with $100 million a seeming inevitability at this point.
Coming in seventh was Warner Bros. Pictures’ Jamie Foxx-Michael B. Jordan drama Just Mercy, which slid 38% to $5.78 million three-day and $7.52 million four-day in its second weekend of wide release. Its domestic total now stands at $21.13 million.
Lionsgate Films’ Knives Out continued strong in eighth place, slipping 23.8% to $4.28 million over the three-day weekend and $5.327 million over the four-day holiday for a North American total of $147.00 million to date.
Disney’s Frozen II grossed $3.81 million over the three-day period, a fall of 35.5%, and $5.33 million over the four-day holiday, giving the animated sequel $466.49 million domestically through the end of its ninth weekend.
And in 10th place, Paramount’s Like a Boss dropped 59.6% after a somewhat disappointing debut the previous weekend, taking in $4.04 million over the three-day weekend and $4.78 million over the four-day holiday. That bring the domestic total of the Tiffany Haddish-Rose Byrne comedy to just $17.86 million after 11 days.
This coming weekend sees the release of STX Entertainment’s The Gentlemen directed by Guy Ritchie and Universal’s horror The Turning.
The top 10 films grossed $148.58 million last weekend. That is 26.5% ahead of the previous weekend’s $117.43 million total. It was also 35.6% ahead of last year’s $109.53 million, when Glass led with $40.33 million. Total box office year-to-date stands at $670.70 million. That is 10.3% ahead of last year.
Jan. 17-20, 2020
|This Week||Last Week||Movie||Weekend Gross||Cumulative Gross||Weeks|
|1||New||Bad Boys for Life||$73.03M||$73.03M||1|
|4||3||Jumanji: The Next Level||$14.01M||$257.13M||5|
|5||2||Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker||$12.66M||$494.24M||5|
|10||4||Like a Boss||$4.78M||$17.86M||2|
Editor-in-Chief Mark Heckathorn is a journalist, movie buff and foodie. He oversees DC on Heels editorial operations as well as strategic planning and staff development. Reach him with story ideas or suggestions at dcoheditor (at) gmail (dot) com.