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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]