UPDATED, 12:09 PM: Sony’s Bad Boys for Life is headed for the second-best MLK weekend opening of all time at the domestic box office, with a projected four-day gross of $63 million-$67 million. Today looks to be around $21M-$23M.
The other new MLK opener, Universal’s Dolittle, is looking at a four-day total of $28M-$30M. That’s not bad for a family film, but will not be enough to consider this film a success based on its lofty $175M production cost.
Best Picture Oscar nominee 1917 looks to take third place with a four-day of $26M, and a Friday gross of $5M-$6M.
PREVIOUSLY, 7:11 AM Friday: Sony’s Bad Boys for Life, a sequel 17 years in the waiting, previewed at 3,154 theaters last night making a great $6.36 million. That amount for the R-rated film is bigger than American Sniper‘s $5.3M preview, which turned out to be the record opener over the 2015 MLK holiday with a four-day total of $107.2M.
Related Story'Dolittle' Review: Robert Downey Jr. Talks To Animals But Doesn't Have Much To Say
Sony is seeing a $38M opening for Bad Boys for Life, but tracking yesterday raised its projections to $50M-$56M for the weekend ahead of the $40M+ figures we saw midweek. Other MLK previews that Bad Boys for Life beat include Ride Along which made $1.1M off 9 PM previews back in 2014 and Ride Along 2 grossed $1.3M off 7 PM showtimes. Ride Along is the second-highest opener over the MLK holiday with $48.6M, while Ride Along 2 is fifth with $41M.
The Will Smith and Martin Lawrence re-team last night drew 39% African Americans, 33% Caucasian, 17% Hispanic, 4% Asian, and 7% others. Dominant crowds were 45% males 25+, 28% females 25+, 16% males under 25, and 10% females under 25 per Comscore/Screen Engine’s Posttrak. Previews began at 4 PM.
Critics overall enjoyed the movie at 75% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and Thursday night audience really liked what they saw, giving action film 4 1/2 stars and a 73% definite recommend.
Universal’s Dolittle previews began at 5 PM yesterday with a very low $925K at 3,050 theaters. Pic expands to 4,155 locations today. The $175M production is expected to bomb this weekend with a $24M-$28M take. Exits for the Robert Downey Jr. were better among families who turned out at 43% on PostTrak with 4 1/2 stars from parents (17%) and 4 1/2 stars from kids under 12 (26%). General audiences at 57% stuck their tongues out at the taking animal movie, giving it 2 1/2 stars.
Universal will fare better this weekend with the Amblin/New Republic production 1917, which led all movies in regular release last night with $3M, off 10% from Wednesday, for a first wide week of $51.9M, running total of $54.6M with monies since its limited Christmas Day launch. With 10 Oscar noms, the Sam Mendes WWI movie is expected to make around $27M in its second wide weekend over four days.