‘Bad Boys’ do well, leading North American box office

Agence France-Presse . Los Angeles | Published: 22:51, Jan 20,2020


Will Smith (L) and Martin Lawrence arrive at the premiere of Columbia Pictures’ ‘Bad Boys For Life’ at TCL Chinese Theatre on January 14, 2020 in Hollywood, California. — AFP photo

It took Sony 17 years, but the latest ‘Bad Boys’ sequel appears to be paying off, taking in an estimated $59.2 million for the start of a US holiday weekend, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations reported Sunday.

‘Bad Boys for Life’ stars Will Smith and Martin Lawrence as wise-cracking detectives who reunite after years apart (‘Bad Boys II’ dates from 2003, eight years after the original ‘Bad Boys’) to take on a murderous Miami drug cartel.

Its North American ticket sales -- estimated at $68.1 million when Monday’s Martin Luther King Jr. holiday is included -- are nearly twice original predictions, according to Variety.com.

Another new release, Universal’s ‘Dolittle,’ starring Robert Downey Jr., placed second with an estimated $22.5 million for the Friday-through-Sunday period ($30 million for the four days).

‘Dolittle,’ based on a beloved children’s book about a veterinarian who can talk to the animals, has been savaged by critics -- who have called it ‘utterly lifeless,’ ‘a quicksand of a movie,’ and ‘shockingly unfunny.’ 

The presence of Downey, hugely popular in the Marvel superhero films, and of an all-star voice cast including Emma Thompson, Ralph Fiennes, Antonio Banderas, Rami Malek, Octavia Spencer and Marion Cotillard, may have helped boost its fortunes.

In third was a film that has done rather better with the critics, last weekend’s box office leader, ‘1917,’ also from Universal. The World War I drama has booked $22.1 million in ticket sales ($27 million for four days).

One critic called the Sam Mendes movie, filmed as if in one long, continuous shot, a ‘protean display of virtuoso filmmaking.’

Despite a lack of big stars, it has won both the Golden Globe and the Producers Guild of America awards for best drama, and  is now seen as a best-picture favorite at the Oscars.

Sony’s ‘Jumanji: The Next Level,’ slid one spot from last weekend to fourth, taking in $9.6 million ($12.6 million). The action sequel stars Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Kevin Hart.  

Fifth spot went to Disney’s ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,’ at $8.4 million ($10.6 million). Globally, the finale of the nine-film ‘Skywalker Saga’ has now surpassed the $1 billion mark.

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