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Ride Or Die’s Box Office Is So Good After So Many Recent Flops


Ride Or Die's Box Office Is So Good After So Many Recent Flops


Summary

  • Bad Boys: Ride or Die surpassed box office expectations with a $104.6 million opening weekend worldwide.
  • Will Smith’s star power and franchise history contributed to the success of the latest Bad Boys installment.
  • Audiences are loving Bad Boys: Ride or Die, as reflected in its high audience score of 97% on Rotten Tomatoes.



Bad Boys: Ride Or Die is a major box office success, and the reasons for this are even greater after recent flops. Due to the high variance in terms of performance that movies have experienced at the box office in 2024, more eyes turned to the continuation of the Bad Boys movie franchise. The fourth film starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence had big expectations, but underperforming titles like The Fall Guy and Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga brought increased skepticism. This even led Sony to lower projections for Bad Boys: Ride or Die‘s opening weekend at the box office.

Luckily, the fears that Bad Boys could join the list of 2024 flops have avoided becoming reality. Bad Boys: Ride or Die‘s box office came in higher than anticipated for its opening weekend. The sequel earned $56 million domestically, with an additional $48.6 million coming internationally. Bad Boys: Ride or Die‘s $104.6 million opening weekend worldwide is a huge win for theaters after a record low May 2024 box office. The movie becoming a box office hit is not an accident or a matter of luck. There are good reasons for Bad Boys: Ride or Die‘s box office and success.


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The Bad Boys Franchise Has Had Consistent Box Office Success

Bad Boys’ Franchise Total Now Stands At $943 Million

Will Smith and Martin Lawrence in a pool in Bad Boys Ride or Die

Bad Boys: Ride or Die‘s success should not be a surprise given the franchise’s history. The Bad Boys movies have always fared well at the box office. The original film made over $140 million back in 1995, but that would amount to roughly $290 million adjusted for inflation. Bad Boys II made $273 million in 2003, which would be roughly $465 million adjusted for inflation. Audiences also responded positively to Bad Boys for Life in 2020, as it made $424 million.


With each of the previous installments doing well financially, Bad Boys: Ride or Die doing so well makes sense. This is a franchise that audiences have consistently shown an interest in experiencing in theaters and paying to do so. Bad Boys: Ride or Die‘s strong start puts it on a path to find more success. It ensures that the Bad Boys franchise will break the $1 billion milestone by the time the theatrical run ends too.

Bad Boys Movies Box Office

Movie

Box Office Total

Box Office Adjusted For Inflation

Bad Boys

$141,407,024

$290,931,033

Bad Boys II

$273,340,010

$465,789,203

Bad Boys for Life

$426,505,244

$516,707,256

Bad Boys: Ride or Die

$104,600,000

N/A


Bad Boys: Ride Or Die Came After The Franchise’s Biggest Hit

Bad Boys For Life Made $424 Million

Martin Lawrence as Marcus and Will Smith as Mike Looking At Each Other in Bad Boys for Life

Continuing the Bad Boys franchise’s successful run at the box office also makes sense considering how well the last installment in particular did. Bad Boys for Life shattered expectations upon its release by making $424 million worldwide before COVID-19 shut down theaters. This was done with the film’s January release window and lacking competition, but the film’s performance was good enough to become the franchise’s highest-grossing release.


The fact that Bad Boys: Ride or Die is experiencing similarly great results at the box office lines up then. Audiences welcomed back Will Smith’s Mike Lowrey and Martin Lawrence’s Marcus Burnett with open arms. There was quite a clear demand to see the franchise continue. Even with four years passing between the films, the carryover from Bad Boys for Life‘s success remained for the fourth installment. Now Bad Boys: Ride or Die will attempt to break the franchise record.

Will Smith Is Still One Of Hollywood’s True Movie Stars

The Bad Boys Star Can Draw In Audiences

Will Smith in Bad Boys 4 custom image

There is no doubt that Will Smith’s status as the star of Bad Boys: Ride or Die brought in more audiences too. He became one of Hollywood’s biggest and most bankable movie stars throughout his career. He’s always found success with the Bad Boys movies, but his reach extends well beyond. Whether its the Men in Black films, Independence Day, Hancock, or I Am Legend, Smith has established himself as someone audiences want to see in big action movies that play in theaters.


His status as a movie star was reaffirmed ahead of his Bad Boys returns. He played a pivotal part in Suicide Squad‘s box office success, as well as turning Disney’s live-action remake of Aladdin into a $1 billion hit. Hollywood has mostly shifted into a state where movie stars are few and less guaranteed to deliver box office hits. But, Will Smith clearly is still an actor audiences know and want to see more of. The Oscar-winning actor has mass appeal across all demographics.

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Bad Boys: Ride Or Die’s Low Budget Helps It Succeed

The Box Office Already Surpassed Its Budget

Will Smith clapping in front of blue dollar bills
Custom Image by Yeider Chacon


The full story of Bad Boys 4‘s box office is aided by the smart financing for the sequel. Sony greenlit the sequel with a bigger budget than its predecessor, but Bad Boys: Ride or Die‘s budget is still only $100 million. This marks a small increase from Bad Boys for Life, but it is still well below the higher budget Michael Bay had for Bad Boys II. It is thanks to this frugal approach that Bad Boys: Ride or Die has already earned back its budget at the box office in only the opening weekend.

Bad Boys II had the franchise’s highest budget at $130 million


The film might still need to make more to break even or be profitable, but the lower cost stands out based on Hollywood’s usual practices. Studios tend to go bigger with sequels and raise budgets substantially. Higher budgets have become so standard for the industry that $200 million price tags are far more common. But, Bad Boys: Ride or Die has a lower target to be a success. It only needs to make $200 million to be profitable, which makes the $100 million opening great. The outlook would be drastically different if the movie cost $150-$200 million instead.

Bad Boys Is A Very Well-Known Franchise

Audiences Know The Bad Boys

Mike Lowrey leaning towards Marcus Burnett, who is gesturing emphatically, in Bad Boys Ride or Die


Another point in Bad Boys: Ride or Die‘s favor is that it is part of a very well-known franchise. Audiences have been able to watch the franchise grow over the course of several decades. The movies have retained their popularity over the years thanks to their rewatchability and impressive action scenes. Anyone wanting to see what happens next for Mike and Marcus has to check out the latest installment. This helped give Bad Boys: Ride or Die a natural draw for fans of the series.

Franchises have become even more powerful in Hollywood over the years, and that has stayed mostly true in 2024. Bad Boys is now part of the list of franchises with successful new entries released this year, joining the likes of Dune, Kung Fu Panda, Planet of the Apes, Ghostbusters, and the Monsterverse. These franchises have all found hits and proven the strength of the IPs. This makes Bad Boys: Ride or Die‘s success part of a larger trend for the industry instead of being an outlier.

Bad Boys: Ride Or Die Had A Great Marketing Campaign

Strong Trailers & Viral Marketing Helped

Martin Lawrence and Will Smith look stunned in Bad Boys Ride or Die


There is also reason to believe that Bad Boys: Ride or Die‘s marketing campaign is responsible for the film’s impressive box office performance early on. Trailers, TV spots, and other advertisements help draw in more casual audience members. Sony’s marketing team put together several action-packed trailers that once again highlighted the great chemistry between Smith and Lawrence. The movie even produced marketing tailored to its target audience and Miami setting by recruiting Miami Heat All-Star Jimmy Butler and football icon Lionel Messi, who currently plays for Inter Miami CF, for ads playing during the NBA Finals.

As if that was not impressive enough, Bad Boys: Ride or Die‘s viral marketing has also been a big hit. Behind-the-scenes footage of Will Smith operating a camera rig strapped to him for an action scene spread across the internet in the days leading up to the film’s release. It brought increased excitement and praise for the film and the ingenuity of directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah. These types of decisions could help give audiences more reasons to rush out to theaters to see the movie.


Sequels Tend To Perform Better Than Original Movies, Prequels, Or Reboots

The Box Office Typically Favors Sequels

Martin Lawrence and Will Smith looking confused in Bad Boys Ride or Die

It is also worth noting how the box office tends to favor sequels, like Bad Boys: Ride or Die. The five highest grossing movies of 2024 are all sequels. It will only be a matter of time before Bad Boys: Ride or Die crashes this list and adds a sixth to the top 10. This continues the sequel trend from recent years, where 11 of the top 20 highest grossing movies of 2023 were sequels. In 2022, it was eight out of the top 10, and it was seven out of 10 in 2021.


There is consistency across the years that supports the idea that sequels tend to perform well at the box office. There are certainly a number of original films, reboots, or prequels that have found success, including in 2024. And yet, Bad Boys: Ride or Die reinforces the idea that audiences want sequels more than the rest, or at least that these are the movies they are most willing to pay to go see in a movie theater.

Bad Boys Has Never Been A Streaming Franchise

Audiences Know Bad Boys Movies Are Only In Theaters

Martin Lawrence Gabrielle Union and Will Smith in Bad Boys II

It also likely helped Bad Boys: Ride or Die that audiences know that this is a franchise that has always been released in theaters instead of streaming. All four of the Bad Boys movies were released exclusively in theaters. Audiences then have every expectation that the latest installments will be in theaters, and there is no major precedent for the studio quickly putting it on a streaming service. This provides extra motivation to watch Bad Boys 4 in theaters as opposed to waiting for its eventual streaming release.


This is not the case for some other franchises, though. Hollywood began shortening theatrical windows during the pandemic, and that even meant putting some new entries in major franchises directly on a streaming service. The impact of Marvel, DC, Pixar, and others having major new releases debut exclusively on streaming can be seen in how later titles underperformed. But, since there was never any question about whether Bad Boys 4 would debut on streaming, the franchise has maintained its status as a theatrical event.

Audiences Are Loving Bad Boys: Ride Or Die

It Has A High Rotten Tomatoes Score

Marcus (Martin Lawrence) and Mike (Will Smith) bumping fists in Bad Boys: Ride or Die
Image via Sony Pictures


One of the biggest reasons for Bad Boys: Ride or Die‘s box office success is the audience response. There would not be strong ticket sales if audiences were not willing to or interested in watching the film. But, it helps that Bad Boys: Ride or Die‘s Rotten Tomatoes scores reflect just how much audiences are loving it. The 63% Tomatometer score from critics is a drop from the previous installment, but it has a 97% Audience Score. It is with that mark that Bad Boys: Ride or Die broke the franchise’s Rotten Tomatoes record for having the highest audience score.

Critics and reviews can certainly still impact audiences’ desire to see new movies, but box office performance often comes down to how much the paying public actually enjoys the movie. The 97% Audience Score for Bad Boys: Ride or Die indicates that viewers are enthusiastically enjoying the franchise’s return. This not only helped contribute to the film’s big opening weekend, but it also should give the movie very strong legs moving forward in the summer.


Bad Boys: Ride Or Die’s Biggest Competition Already Underperformed

It’s The Biggest Action Movie In Theaters

It also helps that Bad Boys: Ride or Die did not have major competition at the box office. It opened opposite Ishana Shyamalan’s horror movie The Watchers, but it theoretically could still have been competing with other action movies like Furiosa and The Fall Guy. However, the movies did not put up much of a fight during Bad Boys 4‘s first weekend. Just domestically, Furiosa only made $4.2 million, and The Fall Guy dropped down to $2.7 million. Both films were out of the top five and paled in comparison to Bad Boys: Ride or Die‘s $56 million.


Bad Boys: Ride or Die was always going to outperform Furiosa and The Fall Guy in its first weekend, but the movies’ disappointing results previously made it no contest. Both of Hollywood’s other big action movies of the summer underwhelmed in their opening weekends. With audiences not responding to them, that left Bad Boys: Ride or Die to be the first big action movie blockbuster of the summer. It’s $104 million opening weekend worldwide firmly established it as just that.

Bad Boys Ride or Die Movie Poster

Bad Boys: Ride or Die

Director
Adil El Arbi , Bilall Fallah

Release Date
June 7, 2024

Writers
Chris Bremner

Cast
Will Smith , Martin Lawrence , Vanessa Hudgens , Alexander Ludwig , Paola Núñez , Eric Dane , Ioan Gruffudd , Tasha Smith

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