In another much needed win for Sony Pictures, Bad Boys for Life is headed for a much bigger than expected take in its North American box office debut while, across town, Dolittle is going to the dogs for Universal.
Bad Boys for Life, reteaming Will Smith and Martin Lawrence after a 17-year-hiatus, grossed $23.5 million on Friday for a projected $66 million to $68 million debut over the four-day Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, well ahead of expectations and successfully restarting the action-comedy franchise.
Friday’s audience was led by African-Americans (43 percent), males (56 percent) and ticket buyers under the age of 35 (57 percent), according to PostTrak.
Bad Boys 3 cost $90 million to produce before marketing. Years in the making, the R-rated pic was directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah.
Dolittle, grossing $6.3 million on Friday, is now looking at a projected four-day gross of $31 million. While that’s somewhat ahead of tracking, it is still a dismal start for a film that cost $175 million to $200 million before marketing. The hope now is that family audience gives Dolittle long legs; it also could make up ground overseas.
The period film, starring Robert Downey Jr., hoped to reboot the franchise about the iconic vet who can communicate with animals. Directed and co-written by Stephen Gaghan (Syriana, Traffic), Dolittle was supposed to open last May, but its release was delayed twice after Universal rushed to rework parts of the story and complete reshoots.
The timing of Dolittle, produced by Team Downey, isn’t ideal for Universal following office bomb Cats (both films rely heavily on VFX effects, not to mention animals).
Dolittle — ravaged by critics and marking Downey’s first turn on the big screen post-Iron Man — had been tracking for a four-day gross of $22 million to $28 million. On Friday, the pic skewed female (61 percent) and Caucasian (60 percent). Ticket buyers gave the film a so-so B CinemaScore.
The last Dolittle movie, starring Eddie Murphy, hit the big screen 19 years ago and was set in contemporary times.
Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy: Sony; Universal
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