MLK Weekend Estimates: Bad Boys for Life Targets 2nd Best Ever January Debut ($54M/$62M+ 3-Day/4-Day); Universal Fills Out Top 3 w/ Dolittle ($23M/$30M+) & 1917 ($21M/$25M+)

Saturday Update: Sony’s Bad Boys for Life remains on a remarkable pace this weekend after a reported $23.5 million opening day, inclusive of Thursday’s best-ever January preview earnings ($6.36 million).

With this stellar kick-off, in tandem with other performances mentioned below, the top ten films this weekend look to greatly exceed expectations with an estimated 30 to 35 percent increase over the top ten films during MLK weekend last year.

Bad Boys for Life‘s first day take registers as the second highest ever in January (behind only American Sniper‘s $30.3 million), while registering on par with fellow action films like Hobbs & Shaw ($23.6 million) and John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum ($22.6 million).

For the weekend, Sony projects Bad Boys for Life will earn $56.875 million through Sunday and $66.15 million for four-day holiday weekend. Those are certainly attainable numbers, although we’re remaining a bit more cautious given the large share of Thursday earnings relative to comparable films (driven by the pic’s early 4pm start time that day) and NFL playoffs on Sunday.

Our current weekend estimates for Bad Boys for Life and all other key title are listed below the following analysis.

In second place, Universal’s Dolittle bowed to $6.3 million on opening day — more than family pics Peter Rabbit ($5.7 million) anda fellow MLK weekend opener five years ago, Paddington ($4.65 million). The studio estimates a $23.4 million / $31 million three-day / four-day weekend opening, which would come in on the high end of final pre-release forecasts but still on the modest side relative to the film’s budget. Again, the positive outlook here is that family play should be advantageous with minimal competition for the next month.

Just behind in third place, 1917 added $6.2 million to begin its second weekend of wide release — now standing at $60.9 million domestically. Following its 10 Oscar nominations earlier this week, Universal expects Sam Mendes’ war epic to add around $21.9 million / $26.6 million splits over the extended holiday frame.

Jumanji: The Next Level claimed fourth place with $2.175 million on Friday, now sitting at $263.1 million domestically overall. Meanwhile, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker capped the top five with $1.978 million — bringing its domestic haul to $485.6 million. The latter blockbuster recently crossed the $1 billion global threshold last week.

Updated studio estimates to follow on Sunday and Monday, followed by final results on Tuesday.

Boxoffice PRO’s 4-Day Weekend Estimates

  1. Bad Boys for Life ($63.5 million)
  2. Dolittle ($29.5 million)
  3. 1917 ($25.8 million)
  4. Jumanji: The Next Level ($11.8 million)
  5. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker ($10.6 million)

Early Weekend Estimates (Domestic)
FRI, JAN. 17 – SUN, JAN. 19

WIDE (1000+)

# TITLE WEEKEND   LOCATIONS   AVG. TOTAL WKS. DIST.
1 Bad Boys For Life $54,700,000 3,775 $14,490 $54,700,000 1 Sony / Columbia
2 Dolittle $24,000,000 4,155 $5,776 $24,000,000 1 Universal
3 1917 $21,900,000 -41% 3,612 178 $6,063 $76,516,984 4 Universal Pictures
4 Jumanji: The Next Level $9,500,000 -32% 3,323 -581 $2,859 $270,412,975 6 Sony Pictures
5 Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker $8,600,000 -43% 3,058 -1221 $2,812 $492,245,801 5 Disney
6 Just Mercy $6,400,000 -34% 2,457 82 $2,605 $20,012,643 4 Warner Bros.
7 Little Women $6,100,000 -22% 2,503 -713 $2,437 $84,591,052 4 Sony Pictures
8 Like a Boss $4,600,000 -54% 3,081 3 $1,493 $17,683,588 2 Paramount Pictures
9 Knives Out $4,200,000 -25% 1,667 -393 $2,519 $145,877,387 8 Lionsgate
10 Frozen II $4,100,000 -31% 2,080 -575 $1,971 $465,251,690 9 Disney
11 Underwater $3,400,000 -51% 2,791 0 $1,218 $12,620,707 2 20th Century Fox
12 Spies in Disguise $2,400,000 -54% 1,761 -910 $1,363 $58,226,867 4 20th Century Fox
13 Jojo Rabbit $1,400,000 587% 1,005 880 $1,393 $23,529,072 14 Fox Searchlight
14 Ford v. Ferrari $1,000,000 31% 1,080 513 $926 $112,810,388 10 20th Century Fox

LIMITED (100 — 999)

# TITLE WEEKEND   LOCATIONS   AVG. TOTAL WKS. DIST.
1 The Grudge $950,000 -73% 977 -1665 $972 $20,082,641 3 Sony Pictures
2 Bombshell $635,000 -56% 410 -879 $1,549 $29,299,908 6 Lionsgate
3 Once Upon a Time In Hollywood $300,000 764% 705 651 $426 $141,458,021 26 Sony Pictures
4 A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood $295,000 -44% 365 -154 $808 $60,498,849 9 Sony Pictures
5 Cats $140,000 -75% 146 -672 $959 $26,787,835 5 Universal Pictures
6 Chhapaak $115,000 -64% 100 0 $1,150 $545,994 2 FIP
7 Maleficent: Mistress of Evil $75,000 -8% 105 -23 $714 $113,753,295 14 Disney
8 Queen & Slim $65,000 -83% 120 -322 $542 $43,713,410 8 Universal Pictures
9 Midway $60,000 -30% 113 -65 $531 $56,814,641 11 Lionsgate

PLATFORM (1 — 99)

# TITLE WEEKEND   LOCATIONS   AVG. TOTAL WKS. DIST.
1 Harriet $90,000 21% 95 -27 $947 $43,040,890 12 Focus Features
2 A Hidden Life $45,000 -54% 55 -64 $818 $1,613,268 6 Fox Searchlight

Friday Update: Sony’s 17-years-in-the-making threequel from the Bad Boys franchise is proving to be well worth the wait. The studio confirmed this morning that Bad Boys for Life posted a $6.36 million start from 3,154 locations last night, surpassing American Sniper‘s previous January record of $5.3 million and setting the stage for a four-day weekend that could eclipse $50 million or more.

A few caveats are worth mentioning as For Life got a particularly early start at 4pm yesterday, later than the typical 6pm and 7pm starts of adult-driven films like Sniper and other big MLK openers like Ride Along ($1.06 million) and Ride Along 2 ($1.26 million).

In the grander scheme of things, For Life also impressively bested the Thursday preview hauls of recent action films like Hobbs & Shaw ($5.8 million) and John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum ($5.9 million).

It remains to be seen how front-loaded the three-quel proves to be from its early Thursday start as the extended holiday frame plays out, but early reviews are positive and it’s certainly coming in well above long range tracking — and, likely, even above our breakout forecast earlier this week.

Meanwhile, Dolittle scored $925K from 3,050 locations with shows starting at 5pm yesterday. That’s slightly ahead of The House with a Clock In Its Walls ($840K) and Goosebumps ($600K), while also north of Paddington 2 ($325K) — a fellow MLK weekend opener two years ago. The film is performing at considerably more modest levels than once projected, but will have the advantage of family appeal over the four-day holiday weekend.

More updates to come.

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