Sony’s long-awaited Will Smith and Martin Lawrence re-team Bad Boys for Life arrived on tracking today with a $40M-$45M 4-day opening projection. Among action comedies launched over the holiday, that forecast is around where Ride Along ($48.6M) and Ride Along 2 ($41M) opened. 2014’s Ride Along starring Kevin Hart and Ice Cube was the record opening over MLK until Clint Eastwood’s wide break of American Sniper rose the benchmark to a lofty height with $107.2M in January 2015.
Bad Boys for Life cost a reported $90M before P&A. Sony believes the 4-day debut is more in line with $38M. The pic follows Marcus Burnett (Lawrence) who is now a police inspector and Mike Lowery (Smith) who is in a midlife crisis. The two unite again when an Albanian mercenary, whose brother they killed, promises them an important bonus. The first movie launched in 1995 just as Smith and Lawrence’s big screen careers were warming up and made $141.4M WW. The sequel, Bad Boys II, made eight years later, grossed $273.3M WW bringing the franchise’s total to $414.7M. The threequel is directed by Adil & Bilall with a story by Peter Craig and Joe Carnahan, and screenplay by Chris Bremner, Craig and Carnahan. Jerry Bruckheimer, Will Smith and Doug Belgrad produced. EPs are Chad Oman, Barry Waldman, Mike Stenson and James Lassiter.
Universal also has the very expensive $175M reboot Dolittle starring Robert Downey Jr. as the doctor who can talk to animals over the holiday weekend. Tracking spots that pic’s opening at $25M-$30M over the 4-day stretch. Directed and written by Traffic Oscar winner Stephen Gaghan, Dolittle underwent 21 days of reshoots according to reports last spring with director Jonathan Liebesman and Lego Batman helmer Chris McKay overseeing fresh rewrites. Dolittle, which features an-all star cast including Tom Holland, Antonio Banderas, Rami Malek, Emma Thompson, John Cena, Selena Gomez among many others, reps Gaghan’s entry in the VFX comedy genre space. Dolittle‘s last release date on the schedule before reshoots was April 12 last year.