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Box Office: Will Smith’s ‘Bad Boys 4’ Delivers Huge Victory for Actor With $56M U.S. Debut, $104.6M Globally

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Sony’s Bad Boys: Ride or Die jolted the battered summer box office back to life with a better-than-expected domestic opening of $56 million and $104.6 million globally.

Moreover, it puts Will Smith on the road to a career comeback two years after the infamous Oscars slap.

Ride or Die, reuniting Smith with Martin Lawrence, is the fourth outing in Sony’s long-running franchise and earned an A- CinemaScore in North America alongside generally positive reviews. Just as promising, 44 percent of the audience was between ages 18 and 34, showing Smith has a following among younger consumers. Black moviegoers made up the largest quadrant of the audience with 44 percent.

Ride or Die is arguably the first film of the summer to come in ahead of tracking, which had it opening in the $48 million to $50 million range. It’s also the second biggest domestic launch of the season behind Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, which debuted to $58 million domestically.

The movie’s start overseas is equally as promising, where it grossed $48.6 million from 58 markets, 58 percent of Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga in like-for-like markets. It collected a strong $19.3 million in Europe and set franchise records in Latin America and the Middle East.

The $100 million film is the follow-up to Bad Boys for Life, which opened to $62 million domestically in January 2022 on its way to earning $426 million at the global box office before theaters were shut due to the pandemic. The Bad Boys series is produced by Jerry Bruckheimer.

Smith and Lawrence return 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 push for Smith since he accosted Chris Rock during the live telecast of the 2022 Oscars (which was seemingly addressed in the film).

The Hollywood Reporter learned that Smith’s agents at CAA have been calling studio production execs in recent weeks for the first time since the slap to explore possible projects, with the hope that the actor’s next film can be announced quickly after the release of Ride or Die, should it perform.

It’s good weekend for Sony Pictures Motion Group CEO Tom Rothman, whose studio also commanded the second box office spot with the modestly budgeted The Garfield Movie, which earned another $10 million domestically and $15.3 million overseas for a global tally of nearly $200 million, or $192.7 million, against a net budget of $60 million before marketing.

John Krasinski and Paramount’s original fantasy comedy IF continued to display strong staying power after opening to modest numbers a month ago. The pic, starring Ryan Reynolds, placed No. 3 domestically with $8 million. Overseas, it earned another $6.2 million for a global tally of $160.7 million.

Opening in fourth place was Ishana Night Shyamalan’s The Watchers. The supernatural thriller, produced by the director’s father M. Night Shyamalan, grossed $7 million.

Disney and 20th Century’s Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes rounded out the top five with $5.4 million as it grew its global total to $359.8 million, the best of the summer so far.

June 9, 9 a.m. Updated with overseas numbers.

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