The Will Smith/Martin Lawrence action comedy Bad Boys For Life continued its remarkable performance, dropping just 46% in its second frame as it became the first 2020 film to reach $100 million in the domestic market. The strong showing of the third Bad Boys film and other holdovers pushed the total of the top ten films more than 30% ahead of the same weekend a year ago when M. Night Shyamalan’s Glass reigned as box office king for the second weekend in a row with $18.9 million. So far the January box office is running about 12% ahead of 2019, though it should be pointed out that record box office years aren’t determined in January, traditionally one of the weaker movie-going months.
Bad Boys For Life has now earned $120. 6 million at the domestic box office and with two weeks to go before the heavy competition promised by the R-rated, DC Comics-based Birds of Prey, it is a likely bet that Bad Boys 3 will easily top the $147 million total of the 2009 comedy Paul Blart, Mall Cop, which will make it, believe it or not, the top earning “new” January release of all time in the domestic market (told you January wasn’t a huge movie-going month). In fact, given its current trajectory, Bad Boys 3 could end up in the vicinity of $200 million domestic, which would put it ahead of the inflation-adjusted total of Paul Blart ($177 million), as well as the adjusted totals of the previous Bad Boys movies.
The takeaway here is that Bad Boys 3 is acting like a real action movie hit (with a bigger opening and smaller second week drop that the highly successful John Wick 3), and the fact that it is doing so in January will mean that we will see more January releases with breakout potential in the future, especially given the crowded spring. summer, and holiday schedules slated for the next few years (search “Best in Shows” on ICv2 for a rundown of movie releases through 2022).
Second place this weekend went to Sam Mendes’ World War I epic 1917, which dropped just 28.1% as it earned $15.8 million to bring its North American total to $103.9 million. 1917, which has excellent Oscar prospects, won “Best Picture” honors from both the American Society of Cinematographers and the Directors Guild of American this week, and should continue to benefit from award season buzz.
Universal’s pricy ($190 million) Dolittle, which stars Robert Downey, Jr., had a pretty good hold (-43%), but its opening was so weak that the film remains in deep “dolittle-do,” with domestic earnings of just $44.7 million, and a worldwide total of just $91 million, less than a quarter of what it would take just to break even.
Guy Ritchie’s R-rated gangster comedy The Gentlemen did a bit better than expected in the face of direct competition from Bad Boys 3. Ritchie’s latest English gangster film earned $11 million over the weekend as well as a solid “B+” CinemaScore from opening weekend audiences, which skewed heavily male (60%) and a bit younger for an R-rated film with a solid 55% of the crowd in the 25-44 demographic. Ritchie’s wicked black humor might keep The Gentlemen from being a mainstream smash, but like the director’s Snatch, The Gentlemen could well become a cult film.
Sony’s hit Jumanji: The Next Level earned $7.9 million in its seventh weekend of release, bringing its domestic total to $283 million. A domestic finish in the $300 million neighborhood seems likely, and its global total (currently $738 million), should end up close to $800 million.
Universal’s horror film The Turning, a new take on Henry James’ famed ghost story “The Turn of the Screw,” debuted in sixth place with $7.3 million, but its prospects are severely limited by a rare “F” CInemaScore (horror fans do grade “hard,” but an “F” is an “F”) from audiences, which echoes the film’s poor reviews (just 13% positive on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes).
Disney’s Star Wars: Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker, became just the fifteenth film to earn over $500 million at the North American box office, a feat that still can’t erase the fact that the movie has performed more like a typical “event” film than like a canonical mainline Star Wars release.
Greta Gerwig’s Little Women earned $4.7 million as it moved up to #6. By this time next week this period drama should be nearing the $100 million mark.
Geek movie fans should take note that Richard Stanley’s Color Out of Space, an adaptation of the H. P Lovecraft’s short story “The Colour Out of Space,” which stars Nicholas Cage, opened in just 81 theaters this past weekend, earning $217K. Fans might want to take advantage of the chance to see it in theaters (with a $2,688 per venue average in limited release it won’t be around long) before it comes out on VOD on February 25.
Makoto Shinkai's anime feature Weathering With You, which is now in 458 theaters, earned about $700K to bring its domestic total to $6.6 million, a new record for a GKids release.
Be sure and check back here next week to see what happens when two new wide releases debut, the Blake Lively action thriller Rhythm Section, which opens opposite the dark fantasy thriller Gretel and Hansel.