Weekend Box Office

Weekend Box Office Results: Bad Boys For Life Becomes Biggest January Release Ever After $17.7 Million Weekend

Plus, The Rhythm Section sets a record of its own on the weekend of January 31-February 2.

by | February 2, 2020 | Comments

Bad Boys for Life achieved two milestones this weekend. One of them was becoming the top-grossing film in the series, passing Bad Boys II’s $138 million. The second is more impressive: Until this weekend, Paul Blart: Mall Cop was the top-grossing January film of all-time with $146.3 million; in just 17 days, Bad Boys for Life took that record, eclipsing every other true January release ever with its total (so far) of $148.05 million. Though in the “for every action there is an opposite reaction” file, a new release this week set an abysmal new record for a release of its type.

King of the Crop: Bad Boys For Life Officially the Biggest January Movie Ever

Bad Boys for Life stars Will Smith and Martin Lawrence (Columbia Pictures)

Bad Boys for Life has left all of its January competitors in the rearview mirror, so we must go to the all-time lists to chart its progress going forward. At present time, the third film in the franchise is ahead of the pace of the second film in Mission: Impossible franchise (believe it or not, still the highest-grossing in that series), which had $145.7 million after 17 days, while grossing $17.2 million in its third weekend. The Bad Boys are up to $148.05 million with $17.68 million this weekend. The Will Smith/Martin Lawrence movie is also ahead of The Mummy Returns, which had $146.4 million at this point in its theatrical life, but a $20.4 million third weekend. While both were summer releases (and M:I2 opened on a Wednesday), Bad Boys is still doing midweek numbers close to or exceeding those films, giving it a legit shot at reaching the $200 million line and becoming the seventh Will Smith movie to do so. The film has also grossed over $244 million worldwide to date. Bad Boys II topped out at $273 million.

Rotten Returns: Black Lively’s The Rhythm Section Sets Record Low for 3,000-Plus Theaters

The Rhythm Section
(Photo by © Paramount Pictures)

Paramount’s The Rhythm Section made history this weekend and even the lowest expectations for it did not quite see it coming. The $50 million production grossed a miserable $2.8 million from Friday to Sunday. There have been more expensive films and greater disparities between their openings and budget, but there has never been a movie released in 3,000 theaters that has opened to so little or had a per-theater-average below $1,000. The Rhythm Section, with an estimated $918 per-theater-average, now owns that distinction and sits on top of the following list:

  • The Rhythm Section ($2.80 million / 33% Tomatometer)
  • Hoot ($3.36 million / 26% Tomatometer)
  • The Seeker: The Dark is Rising ($3.74 million / 14% Tomatometer)
  • Fun Size ($4.1 million / 25% Tomatometer)
  • Burnt ($5 million / 28% Tomatometer)
  • Hardcore Henry ($5.1 million / 50% Tomatometer)
  • Meet Dave ($5.25 million / 20% Tomatometer)
  • What’s Your Number? ($5.42 million / 24% Tomatometer)
  • Keeping Up with the Joneses ($5.46 million/ 19% Tomatometer)
  • The Darkest Minds ($5.84 million/ 16% Tomatometer)

The Top 10 and Beyond: Oscar Contenders Continue Golden Streak, As Hansel and Gretel Only Manages a Few Box Office Crumbs

Most of the films in the top 10 continue to do very well. Sam Mendes’ 1917, just a week before it may take home the Best Picture Oscar, is up to $119 million. After 24 days of wide release, the film is ahead of the pace of many of the best-performing true January releases (American Sniper, like 1917, opened in limited release in December), except for Kung Fu Panda 3, which grossed $117.1 million in 24 days of wide release. (1917 grossed $2.72 million in limited and $116.57 million since its release.) The film will likely remain in the top 10 until at least early March and could pass $150 million by then.

Fellow Best Picture nominee Little Women will be passing $100 million within the next week, just before it potentially wins the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for Greta Gerwig, who will join a very exclusive list of female directors with a nine-digit domestic gross. Dolittle has also crossed the $100 million line – worldwide, that is. It’s also the only other film besides Bad Boys For Life to gross over $50 million in 2020, so there’s that. Then again, it’s only the second 2020 release to gross over $25 million. Guy Ritchie’s The Gentlemen will be the third, though that figure is not much of an accomplishment.

Gretel and Hansel
(Photo by Patrick Redmond / © United Artists Releasing)

United Artists Releasing did not have enough confidence in Gretel & Hansel to screen it for critics in many markets, and despite resting just below Fresh at 56% on the Tomatometer, Ozgood Perkins’ revisionist fairy tale fell into January’s horror doldrums with just $6 million. The film only cost $5 million to make, so it is not a major failure, but it will be amongst a list of scary underperformers from last month that includes The Grudge ($20.8 million), Underwater ($16.4 million), and The Turning ($11.7 million), which fell 56% this weekend.

Finally, in more positive news, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has moved into 35th place all-time with $1.058 billion worldwide, right ahead of Rogue One’s $1.056 billion (even if it will fail to reach that movie’s $532 million domestic total). Meanwhile, Jumanji: The Next Level is headed toward $300 million domestic and over $750 million worldwide.

This Time Last Year: Glass Stays on Top During a Record-Low Weekend

Universal Pictures
(Photo by © Universal)

M. Night Shyamalan’s Glass led for a third straight weekend, though it grossed just $9.54 million. The Upside held firm in second with $8.67 million ahead of the weekend’s only new release, the American remake of Miss Bala, which started with only $6.86 million. The top five was rounded out by a pair of comic-book films: Aquaman ($4.88 million in its seventh week) and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse ($4.54 million in its eighth). The top 10 films as a whole grossed just $52.08 million, which was the lowest total for a February weekend since the 1990s; the films averaged 64.1% on the Tomatometer. This year’s top 10 grossed an estimated $65.15 million and averaged 57.5% on the Tomatometer.

On the Vine: Harley Quinn Shows There’s Life After Mistah J

The next $100 million grosser of 2020 should be arriving in theaters with Birds of Prey featuring the return of Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn from Suicide Squad. Early tracking on the $97 million production is in the low $50 million range; Suicide Squad opened to $133.6 million. Also look around for Neon’s pickup from the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, The Lodge, with Riley Keough. The atmospheric chiller, from the directors of Goodnight Mommy, has a score of 79% on the Tomatometer currently.

The Full Top 10: January 31-February 2

  1. Bad Boys for Life (2020) 77% – $17.68 million ($148.05 million total)
  2. 1917 (2020) 89% – $9.66 million ($119.25 million total)
  3. Dolittle (2020) 14% – $7.7 million ($55.22 million total)
  4. Gretel & Hansel (2020) 65% – $6.05 million ($6.05 million total)
  5. The Gentlemen (2020) 75% – $6.01 million ($20.44 million total)
  6. Jumanji: The Next Level (2019) 72% – $6 million ($291.22 million total)
  7. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) 51% – $3.19 million ($507.06 million total)
  8. The Turning (2020) 12% – $3.05 million ($11.71 million total)
  9. Little Women (2019) 94% – $3.02 million ($98.77 million total)
  10. The Rhythm Section (2020) 29% – $2.8 million ($2.8 million total)

Erik Childress can be heard each week evaluating box office on WGN Radio with Nick Digilio as well as on Business First AM with Angela Miles and his Movie Madness Podcast.

[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]

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