Long Range Forecast: BAD BOYS: RIDE OR DIE and THE WATCHERS Look to Jumpstart June Box Office

Bad Boys: Ride or Die, courtesy of Sony / Columbia Pictures, The Watchers, courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

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Long Range Forecast — June 7-9, 2024

Bad Boys: Ride or Die | Sony
Opening Weekend Range: $55 – $75M (as of 5/14)

The last of the pre-pandemic blockbusters, the Bad Boys franchise bounces back from its 2020 box office crown with the latest entry in the series. Stars Will Smith and Martin Lawrence return to the buddy cop roles they originally launched in the original Bad Boys (1995), which finished as a modest hit for the two budding stars after a $15.5M opening weekend and $65.8M domestic run. The franchise returned with 2003’s Bad Boys II, where it beat out the second weekend of Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl with a $46.5M bow in its July release. Its reign atop the box office was short-lived; the sequel dropped down to third place in its first holdover frame with a -52% slide to finish below the debut of Spy Kids 3: Game Over and Black Pearl‘s third frame. It would eventually finish its domestic run with a $138M haul, leaving behind a legacy of unforgettable Michael Bay-directed action sequences and a best-to-forget mid-aughts tie-in music video single from P. Diddy and Nelly.

Audiences would have to wait over 15 years for the trilogy. Bad Boys for Life (a title which would have been bastardized into something like Bad Boys 4 Life had it been saved for the next installment) opened to $62.5M in mid-January 2020, just before news reports of a novel coronavirus spreading around the world began to demand the world’s attention. The third installment of the series became the last major studio film to enjoy a somewhat “normal” semblance of a theatrical run before theaters worldwide began to suspend operations due to the pandemic. Bad Boys for Life played out for 9 weeks, largely unobstructed by competing releases with decreased marketing campaigns, to a domestic total of $206 million. A franchise high that opened the door to a fourth installment.

Bad Boys: Ride or Die enters a more competitive market with its June 7 release, but benefits from what promises to be an opportunistic gap in the schedule. The date is two weeks removed from competing action-flick Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga (5/24), and follows a May 31 weekend that will provide no direct competitors in wide release. It will lose a chunk of premium screens in its second frame, where it is expected to drop down to second place behind the debut of Disney Pixar’s Inside Out 2—but if word-of-mouth is good, the movie should retain most of its core audience. In fact, there is enough of a runway in June for this Bad Boy sequel to leg out comfortably until Paramount’s A Quiet Place: Day One and Warner Bros.’ Horizon: An American Saga come out on June 28.

The biggest stumbling block? Will Smith hasn’t had a major commercial release of this scope since his infamous behavior at the 2022 Academy Awards. Just how much star power did that slap cost Smith’s once-pristine appeal to global audiences? And how will that affect Sony’s marketing campaign for Bad Boys: Ride or Die? If the marketing campaign can pivot the coming junket appearances and press tour to focus more on Will Smith’s upcoming film rather than on his past behavior, it should help Bad Boys: For Life enjoy a successful run at the box office.

The Watchers | Warner Bros.
Opening Weekend Range: $12 – $20M (as of 5/14)

2023 scored major breakaway horror hits with January’s M3GAN ($30.4M opening/$95.1M cume) and day-and-date title Five Nights at Freddy’s ($80M opening/$137.2M cume) in October, but the genre has failed to deliver any crossover hits with general audiences so far in 2024. Universal’s Night Swim holds the record for the highest opening weekend of the year in the genre with $11.7M, followed by the studio’s own Abigail ($10.2M), Lionsgate’s Imaginary ($9.9M), and 20th Century Studios’ The First Omen ($8.3M). We expect Lionsgate’s The Strangers: Chapter 1 (5/17) to perform along that range, setting the stage for Warner Bros.’ The Watchers to claim the top horror opening weekend of the year in its June debut.

Trailer views and engagement from The Watchers‘ final trailer (released in late April) are tracking above all the titles previously mentioned, giving us confidence that this high-concept horror-thriller from Ishana Night Shyamalan can reach—or cross—a $20M over its opening weekend. Our forecasting for this title will likely fluctuate a lot more as we get closer to release.

Tracking Updates (as of 5/14/24)

Release DateTitleOpening Weekend RangeDistributor
5/17/24IF$30 – $40MParamount
5/17/24The Strangers: Chapter 1$7 – $12MLionsgate
5/17/24Back to Black$4 – $8MFocus Features
5/24/24Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga$40 – $55MWarner Bros.
5/24/24The Garfield Movie$30 – $50MSony

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Bad Boys: Ride or Die, courtesy of Sony / Columbia Pictures, The Watchers, courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

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