One thing that I learned in this business is to never write people off.
Especially ones with real talent, skill, and tenacity.
And staying power.
Martin Lawrence and Will Smith proved that they are not to be forgotten with their latest movie offering, Bad Boys for Life, which shattered box office records during its opening weekend.
According to Variety, the Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah-directed action comedy beat expectations—way above Sunday’s initial estimates —with an astounding $73 million in North America.
The third film in the Bad Boys franchise now stands as the second-best start for the month of January, and Sony Pictures’ highest-grossing R-rated debut to date.
At a reported cost of $90 million, the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced spectacle clocked more than $37 million overseas and has crossed over the $100 million mark worldwide as of Monday afternoon.
Smith is listed as one of the lead producers of the film so you know what that means, right?
While promoting the movie during a Town Hall hosted by Sway Calloway, Heather B and Tracy G (of SiriusXM’s top-rated Shade 45 show Sway in the Morning), the box office kingpin talked about his trepidation to do another sequel.
“The first two movies were so iconic…so what we did with that movie was so big, I just didn’t want to mess it up,” Smith said. “A lot of the times what you see when people do sequels, you see a cash grab. I was like ‘We’re not doing that to Bad Boys.’ And I felt like I had stumbled with a couple of my sequels in the past and I said ‘I am not messing with Bad Boys.’”
The forever Fresh Prince was specifically referring to the Men In Black franchise, which ended going down the tubes because it is quite evident that Hollywood is an emulative business and corporate forces love to bleed out a franchise.
I am of the mindset that “getting while the getting is good” is good, but I also understand the idea of bowing out gracefully.
But I digress.
Although Smith’s last few films (Gemini Man, Bright, and Collateral Beauty) may have flown under the radar and not lived up to expectations, he’s still quite a viable entity.
Last year’s live-action adaptation of Disney’s Aladdin (with him as the giant blue genie) raked in over $1 billion internationally.
So don’t sleep.
Following his first mind has paid off well for the third Bad Boys flick.
As far as the demographic breakdown is concerned, Deadline reported that those who showed up were 56 percent male, with 58 percent being under 25, and the largest demo being 25-34 year olds at 33 percent.
Granularly, 42 percent of the audience African American, 30 percent Caucasian, 18 percent Hispanic, and 10 percent Asian/Other.
Bad Boys for Life, about two seasoned Miami cops forced to reckon with the violence they’ve wreaked as their retirement approaches, was positively received with an A CinemaScore and a 75 percent “fresh” rating on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes.
Word on the curb is that Sony is already developing a fourth installment of the movie with screenwriter Chris Bremner already attached.
Let’s just hope it’s not another 17 years before that happens.