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Sony’s Will Smith Post-Slap Rebound

will smith bad boys ride or die
In the end, the lingering brand damage of Smith cold-cocking Chris Rock at the Oscars didn’t appear to have any impact. Photo: Ben Kriemann/WireImage
Scott Mendelson
June 11, 2024

Bad Boys: Ride or Die, which opened with $56.6 million in North America and $107.4 million worldwide, isn’t just the first unquestionably successful tentpole of the summer, it’s also Sony Pictures’ third straight success in six weeks. The Will SmithMartin Lawrence action-comedy sequel arrived three weeks after The Garfield Movie and a month after the low-budget, star-free Tarot. Barring an improbable tapering for Bad Boys, all three films will be profitable in the theatrical window alone. Sony, with a steady diet of varied and inexpensive releases, is on a path to have a comparatively under-the-radar, not-so-bummer summer. 

Even if it fails to both leg out where it’s already playing and break out in its remaining upcoming territories—China, Italy, and Japan—Bad Boys: Ride or Die still looks likely to end its run with around $325 million globally. That’s less than Bad Boys for Life, which was the top Hollywood movie of Covid-decimated 2020, with $426 million worldwide on a $90 million budget. But there are plenty of reasons to feel optimistic that the movie could even eclipse that number—namely a 5 on PostTrak and an A– CinemaScore, plus the fact that it’s the only R-rated tentpole until Deadpool & Wolverine in late July.