Will Smith's Comeback: 'Bad Boys: Ride or Die' Opens with $56M

Hollywood sees a summer surge with "Ride or Die."

by Nouman Rasool
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Will Smith's Comeback: 'Bad Boys: Ride or Die' Opens with $56M
© Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

Hollywood comedy-actioner "Bad Boys: Ride or Die," the fourth in the estimable line of films and the third teaming Will Smith with Martin Lawrence, is pegged at having busted $56 million over its debut weekend in release.

The latest action-adventure for Hollywood is a particular lift, and it's the biggest box office hit for Smith since he slapped Chris Rock at the 2022 Academy Awards. Expectations were all over the place for "Ride or Die," considering the current moviegoing marketplace is lackluster and the uncertainties, of course, around Smith's box office appeal post-controversy.

But the Sony Pictures release overperformed on track. Made for around $100 million by Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, "Ride or Die" turned in the first significant opening by Smith since he was famously banned from the Oscars for ten years for the slap.

Despite the controversy, the movie achieved a solid performance, closely matching the $62.5 million opening of its predecessor, "Bad Boys for Life," which premiered in January 2020.

Strong Opening Amidst Challenges

The movie took $48.6 million worldwide, representing a promising start for "Ride or Die" internationally.

With that being said, the picture did have mixed reviews overall, landing at 64% on Rotten Tomatoes, but it had a great "A-" CinemaScore, which bodes well for audiences. Notably, 44% of the film's audience were Black moviegoers, showing the broad demographic appeal of the film.

Smith, 55, one of Hollywood's most consistently bankable stars, had launched a promotion campaign in the week leading up to the announcement that was dominated by few, if any, substantive discussions of the Oscar fracas.

His appearances included red carpets in Mexico and Saudi Arabia, guest spots on "The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon" and the YouTube series "Hot Ones." "Ride or Die" changed the narrative for the film business, and the disappointing summer premieres like "Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga" and "The Fall Guy" indicated that.

This is a lot more than just a big deal. It's gigantic," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for Comscore. "The fact that a movie overperformed is the best possible news. It ignites the spark the industry has been waiting for."

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