‘Bad Boys 4’ Gives Box Office a Boost With $53 Million Opening

“Ride or Die” overcomes fears of a weak start with a $21 million opening day

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Will Smith and Martin Lawrence in "Bad Boys: Ride or Die" (Sony Pictures)

Sony/Columbia’s “Bad Boys: Ride or Die” has overcome fears that it could be consumed by the slump that the box office has been in for all of May, earning $21.6 million from 3,885 locations as it plots a course for a $53 million opening weekend.

While down from the $62 million 3-day opening of “Bad Boys For Life” in January 2020, exhibitors and rival distributors were split on whether this fourth installment of the buddy cop action series would be able to meet initial projections of a $45-50 million opening. Some exhibitors told TheWrap they were concerned about weaker presales, while some rival studio sources believed the film would shrug that off with solid walk-up traffic.

The latter prediction is coming true, as longtime “Bad Boys” fans are coming back to theaters and are quite satisfied with what Will Smith and Martin Lawrence had prepared for them. The film has earned a 5/5 on PostTrak, a 97% audience Rotten Tomatoes score, and an A- on CinemaScore, setting itself up as a strong R-rated alternative to the likely top film of the month, Disney/Pixar’s “Inside Out 2,” heading into that film’s release on Father’s Day weekend.

Also opening this weekend is Warner Bros.’ “The Watchers,” the directorial debut from Ishana Night Shyamalan, daughter of M. Night Shyamalan. Released in 3,351 theaters, the film earned $2.9 million on Friday and is projected by industry estimates to earn a muted $7 million opening weekend.

M. Night Shyamalan produced and self-financed “The Watchers” like his own films and sold it to Warner Bros. for $30 million, but it is looking unlikely that Warner will make that back theatrically as word-of-mouth on the film has been poor with a C- on CinemaScore and Rotten Tomatoes scores of 29% critics and 56% audience.

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