Weekend Preview: BAD BOYS RIDE OR DIE Aims to Revive the Summer Box Office

Images courtesy of Sony Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures

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Week 23 | June 7 – 9, 2024
Top 10 Range | Weekend 23, 2024: $75 – $115M
Top 10 Total | Weekend 23, 2023: $165,326,145

Boxoffice Pro Podium

Forecasting the Top 3 Movies at the Domestic Box Office | June 7 – 9, 2024

1. Bad Boys: Ride or Die
Sony Pictures | NEW
Opening Weekend Range: $45 – $60M
The Boxoffice Company’s Showtimes Dashboard Marketshare: 24%

Pros

  • Following the underwhelming performance of The Fall Guy and Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga, it wouldn’t be strange to expect a debut in the $30M range for Bad Boys Ride or Die. We’re expecting more based on our pre-release tracking, which has been consistently positive over the last few weeks. Our Forecasting Panel believes there should be enough walk-up business and positive buzz for this movie to cross the $40M mark—with real potential for the title to go up as high as $60M if everything goes its way. For the moment, we believe the $45 – $55M forecast accurately reflects the interest and awareness for this title.
  • With a reported budget of around $100M, Sony’s expectations will likely be met by opening weekend—but that won’t be enough for an exhibition sector in desperate need of another hit. The high benchmark for Ride or Die is the $62.5M opening frame from the last entry in the series, 2020’s Bad Boys for Life, which legged out to $204.4M domestically as the last pre-pandemic blockbuster. Although we’re currently going through a depressed Summer box office, we’ve seen enough examples of pre-pandemic franchises being revitalized in the post-2020 era, with the fourth installments of the Planet of the Apes and John Wick franchises affirming that audiences are still willing to back beloved IPs.
  • The big elephant in the room on Bad Boys: Ride or Die is obviously Will Smith, whose slapping incident at the Oscars two years ago put a major dent in the superstar’s formerly bulletproof image. The good news is that Sony was confident enough to give Smith his full $25 million quote to come back for more Bad Boys, and even Newsweek reported last year that the star’s overall approval poll rating was up again. Having a capable star with something to prove can be a positive, and Hollywood loves a comeback story. So far reviews for the new fourth film are veering towards the positive as well with 69% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Cons

  • Smith has definitely lost some of his luster post-slap, and this release will be a real test to see if the former King of Summer can still launch a movie. Smith needs audiences to “ride,” or his career could… well, you know. While Smith went the prestige route post-Bad Boys 3 with turns in Emancipation and an Oscar trophy for King Richard, Lawrence only appeared in one VOD drama titled Mindcage, and is decades from being billed over Smith as he was on the first Bad Boys. It doesn’t help that both Smith and Lawrence are beginning to show their age nearly thirty years after the 1995 original. Also, Bad Boys For Life had the benefit of a 17-year gap between entries (Bad Boys 3 and 4 were both announced in summer 2015), which brought a certain level of anticipation to seeing Marcus & Mike together again. Now only four years have passed since the duo decided to ride together “one last time,” so the novelty may have withered.

Last year’s John Wick: Chapter 4 and the recent Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes notwithstanding, action fourquels don’t always play better than their predecessor. Here are some recent domestic comps…

  • Jason Bourne (2016) – $162.1M (Previous: $227.4M)
  • The Predator (2018) – $51M (Previous: $52M)
  • The Matrix Resurrections (2021) – $40.4M (Previous: $139.2)
  • Expend4bles (2023) – $16.7M (Previous: $39.3M)

2. The Watchers
Warner Bros. Pictures | NEW
Opening Weekend Range: $8 – $15M
The Boxoffice Company’s Showtimes Dashboard Marketshare: 12%

Pros

  • Buried amid the hubbub over the underperformance of Furiosa the last few weeks is that The Strangers: Chapter 1 has quietly become a bonafide success story for Lionsgate, already surpassing the previous film’s gross and looking to cross the $30M mark shortly. This bodes well not only for the next two already-shot Strangers chapters but for audiences looking for more summer scares after a drought of dynamic product this year. With its eerie atmosphere, original concept, and “Shyamalan” branding (plus a known name in lead Dakota Fanning), The Watchers might be a good bet to continue the revitalization of the genre. A female-led PG-13 psychological horror movie is also perfect counter-programming to the R-rated/male-oriented action mayhem of Bad Boys.

Cons

  • Executive producer M. Night Shyamalan himself has a varied reputation, with some of his horror output (The Happening, Lady in the Water, Old) being ridiculed between more successful outings (The Visit, Split, Knock at the Cabin). Does the Shyamalan connection help or hurt this film? The studio is certainly leaning into the brand in the marketing. Tying his reputation to his daughter’s—overlooking the nepotism optics—may or may not be the best way to launch 23-year-old Ishana Night Shyamalan’s feature directorial career. Early reactions are already seeing a backlash to the film’s “twist,” a device M. Night is famous for.

The elements of supernatural folk horror at the root of the Ireland-set The Watchers are a hit-or-miss trope to hang a horror movie like this on, and may explain a lack of awareness of the film and its ambiguous title monsters despite being based on a novel by A.M. Shine. Some other recent folk horror films include…

  • The Witch (2015) – $25.1M
  • The Hallow (2015) – $8,967K
  • Hagazussa (2017) – $13,253K
  • Midsommar (2019) – $27.4M
  • Antlers (2021) – $10.6M
  • Lord of Misrule (2024) – $3,717K

3. The Garfield Movie
Sony Pictures | Week 3
3-Day Range: $6 – $10M
The Boxoffice Company’s Showtimes Dashboard Marketshare: 10%

Pros

  • After a weekend that saw this animated movie jump from #2 to #1, a cascading series of summer breaks from school should help The Garfield Movie to continue performing before Inside Out 2 claims the kid audience next weekend. Riding the momentum of being at the top of the charts last weekend could add to another healthy (albeit slightly anemic) weekend for this family programmer. Overall, the weekend feels well balanced with movies for every quadrant, including young adults and older adults (Bad Boys: Ride or Die), teens (The Watchers), and children (The Garfield Movie, IF).

Cons

  • While Garfield has had solid holds and decent staying power in the market, how are its drops comparing to its main family competition IF in the domestic marketplace?
  • WEEK 1: IF ($33.7M) / The Garfield Movie ($24M)
  • WEEK 2: IF ($16.1M, -52%) / The Garfield Movie ($14M, -42%)
  • WEEK 3: IF ($10.5M, -35%)

So while The Garfield Movie has not only been consistently outpaced by IF in terms of domestic gross, it will have to earn at the highest-end of our estimates just to keep steady with IF‘s drops. Should Garfield come in on the lower end, it’s also quite possible that IF could remain at #3 as it has the last two weekends. Sony can take solace in the fact that Garfield is trouncing IF overseas, though, and has an overall higher global gross ($153.7M vs $138.8M).


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Images courtesy of Sony Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures
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