Movie Triumph 'Bad Boys 4': Will Smith's Comeback Brings Hope To Studios, Theaters

Zinger Key Points
  • Will Smith made his movie theater return with "Bad Boys: Ride or Die," his first big budget movie released since his infamous slap.
  • A strong box office performance could signal forgiveness from movie fans and positive news for upcoming Smith attached projects.

An infamous slap at the 2022 Academy Awards resulted in Will Smith being ban from the annual awards show and several of his movie projects that were in the works placed on hold.

Smith's box office return in the "Bad Boys" movie franchise saw strong results, which could signal forgiveness from movie fans and demand to see the actor on the big screen once again.

What Happened: One of the movies that was previously paused due to the controversy around Smith was "Bad Boys: Ride or Die," the fourth film in the "Bad Boys" movie franchise.

The Sony Group Corp SONY movie opened in theaters this past weekend to a $56 million domestic box office haul. The movie also grossed $48.6 million internationally over the weekend, for a global total of $104.6 million, reported Variety.

The film is already the 17th highest grossing movie domestically in 2024 with more weeks in theaters to come. The top grossing movie domestically in 2024 is currently "Dune: Part Two," at $282.1 million. That film posted an $82.5 million opening weekend domestically.

"Bad Boys: Ride or Die" could go on to be one of the top grossing movies in the franchise. Here's how the other three films stack up, according to Box Office Mojo:

  • "Bad Boys" 1995: $19.0 million open, $65.8 million domestic, $141.4 million global
  • "Bad Boys II" 2003: $46.5 million open, $138.6 million domestic, $273.3 million global
  • "Bad Boys for Life" 2020: $62.5 million open, $206.3 million domestic, $426.5 million global

Also helping "Bad Boys: Ride or Die" may have been a release in Imax IMAX theaters. The movie saw $5.2 million (9.3%) of its domestic box office come from Imax theaters. The film grossed $8.2 million globally on Imax screens.

The film has also witnessed strong reviews from moviegoers and critics, with ratings of "A-" at CinemaScore and 64% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Related Link: Bad Boys 4 Trailer Drops With Surprise Lionel Messi Cameo Speaking English

Why It's Important: While "Bad Boys Ride or Die" may not break the franchise records set by the third movie, the strong start could see the fourth movie top the first two installments and also provide some relief for a struggling box office.

The box office saw a slow Memorial Day 2024 weekend and has movie theater companies like AMC Entertainment Holdings AMC and Cinemark Holdings CNK looking towards the second half of 2024 and future years for box office blockbusters.

Movie theater companies and studios with pending projects involving Smith could be celebrating, thanks to the recent success of the fourth “Bad Boys” film.

Warner Bros. Discovery WBD has a planned sequel to "I Am Legend" in the works, with Smith and Michael B. Jordan set to star.

Jordan recently gave an update saying that the script was still being worked on.

"It doesn't have a release date or anything like that. I'm not sure exactly where we're going to be filming that one, but I'm really excited to get in front of the camera with him (Smith)," Jordan said.

The sequel was announced in 2022 and would follow an alternate ending from the "I Am Legend" DVD that saw Smith's character survive the first film.

"I Am Legend" grossed $256.4 million domestically and $585.4 million globally.

Netflix Inc NFLX previously put a Smith-starring film "Fast and Loose" on hold after the slap, but could look to revive the efforts given the box office success of the actor. Smith was also set to star in "The Council" for Netflix, a movie which has seen minimal updates in recent years.

Paramount Global PARAPARAA previously announced it was remaking the 1987 film "Planes, Trains & Automobiles" with Smith and Kevin Hart set to star. This is another movie with minimal details that could pick up steam with Smith now back in the public.

Perhaps the biggest Smith movie that could advance with the positive box office showing of "Bad Boys: Ride or Die" is "Aladdin 2," a planned sequel to the live-action 2019 film from The Walt Disney Company DIS.

After the slap controversy, there were considerations to replace Smith in the role of the Genie in the sequel. The 2019 film grossed $355.6 million domestically and $1.05 billion globally.

Originally slated for a 2025 release, details on the movie have not been recently shared.

While some people may not be ready to forgive Smith for his actions at the Academy Awards, those who have moved on could provide a positive news flow for movie studios and movie theaters.

Read Next: Global Box Office To Decline 5% In 2024: Bad News For AMC, Cinemark?

Photo: Silvia Elizabeth Pangaro/

Market News and Data brought to you by Benzinga APIs
Posted In: EntertainmentTop StoriesTrading IdeasAcademy AwardsAladdinBad Boys 4Chris RockI Am LegendKevin HartMichael B Jordanmovie stocksStories That Matterstreamingstreaming stocksWill Smith
Benzinga simplifies the market for smarter investing

Trade confidently with insights and alerts from analyst ratings, free reports and breaking news that affects the stocks you care about.

Join Now: Free!