‘Bad Boys: Ride Or Die’ Hopes To Avoid Speed Bump At Sluggish Summer Box Office With $75M+ Global Opening – Preview

Sony’s Bad Boys: Ride or Die hopefully will hit $75M or more in its global debut this weekend, in a marketplace that has suffered from not only lackluster product but lack thereof. Broken out, that’s $40M+ in U.S. and Canada and $35M abroad in a 92% footprint.

Presales for the R-rated fourthquel are behind that of the previous pre-Covid threequel, Bad Boys for Life, which hit a franchise-high stateside opening of $62.5M 3-day and $101M worldwide in early 2020. A few weeks ago, domestic projections were at $50M, but that simmered to $40M of late per several sources; Sony is officially calling the U.S. start at $30M+. Trepidation stems from the offbeat marketplace, which sources believe will pick up over Father’s Day with Disney/Pixar’s Inside Out 2 (currently at a $80M-$85M U.S./Canada projection).

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Bad Boys for Life’s franchise-record opening stemmed from the fact that it came 17 years after the first sequel, 2003’s Bad Boys II. It’s largely par for the course for long-delayed sequels to open higher than their predecessor. Fourthquel openings typically are down from threequels.

Stateside previews start at 3 p.m. on Thursday in 3,300 locations. Bad Boys: Ride or Die officially opens Friday in 3,850 locations in U.S./Canada. Males are good to go, and older females aren’t far behind. Bad Boys for Life drew 58% under 35, with 42% Black moviegoers, 30% Caucasian, 18% Hispanic and Latino and 10% Asian American/other. Any overindexing boils down to walk-up business, which is possible, and occurred on the last movie. That said, Bad Boys for Life had the added benefit of a Sunday over its MLK weekend 2020 launch, and that’s not happening this time.

Some good news: It’s the second-best-reviewed Bad Boys movie at 71% fresh, after Bad Boys for Life at 76%. The previous three Bad Boys movies all received A CinemaScores.

Directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah — who are back again after Bad Boys for LifeRide or Die opens abroad today, notably starting in France, Germany, the UK and Indonesia. Thursday adds Australia, Brazil, Mexico, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and the UAE, while Friday will see Spain and Poland join the action. In total, the film will step out in about 92% of its international footprint. TSG co-financed the $100M feature production.

Not going this session are Italy and Malaysia, which release on June 14, and China, Japan, Singapore and Pakistan, which come onboard on June 21.

Bad Boys for Life, debuted to $50.3M in like-for-like foreign markets at today’s exchange rates. BB4L ended up having strong legs, clearing $400M global by late February as the world was headed for pandemic lockdowns. It traveled to China much later that year, the franchise having never had a theatrical release in the market where Will Smith is a big draw. But it was hampered by the Covid tumult, grossing only $3.2M (unadjusted for inflation). Hopes are higher this time around, though that market is still fickle when it comes to Hollywood (and, again, is not part of the opening suite on Ride or Die).

The top overseas performers on BB4L were the UK, Germany, Australia, France and Mexico.

RELATED: Sony’s Tony Vinciquerra Says Paramount Talks Are “Still Progressing” Despite Skydance Sweetening Deal; CEO Hits ‘Bad Boys: Ride Or Die’ Premiere Red Carpet

A well-attended premiere was recently held for Ride or Die in Mexico City, while other splashy red carpets took place in Berlin, Dubai, Riyadh, Madrid and Hollywood.

It remains to be seen whether Smith’s 2022 Oscar slap has any impact on the box office. Typically such tabloid headlines doesn’t factor into moviegoers’ buying decisions. We’ve heard that audience polling indicates that the slap isn’t preventing potential moviegoers from seeing Bad Boys: Ride or Die this weekend.

'The Watchers' release date
‘The Watchers’

New Line has The Watchers in 3,300 locations with an eye on $8M-$10M in U.S./Canada, which is what genre movies have been yielding of late. Lionsgate’s The Strangers – Chapter One was a little above that with an $11.8M 3-day, while Universal’s Abigail did $10.2M, and Blumhouse/Lionsgate’s Imaginary saw $9.9M. The Watchers — directed, produced and adapted by M. Night Shyamalan’s daughter, Ishana Shyamalan — was bought by Warners as part of a negative-pickup combo with the 2x Oscar nominated filmmaker’s upcoming August title Trap.

Starring Dakota Fanning, The Watchers follows a young artist who gets stranded in an extensive, immaculate forest in western Ireland, where, after finding shelter, becomes trapped alongside three strangers and stalked by mysterious creatures each night. The PG-13 movie has definite interest from men and women under 25. No RT critics score on The Watchers yet.

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