Friday Box Office Analysis
By Kim Hollis
January 18, 2020
2020 gets going for real with a sequel that would have seemed tired but isn't. Also, Robert Downey Jr. has a terrible film that only gets audience attendance because there's not much else for families. Finally, we'll take a look at how Oscar nominations impacted the films still in theaters.
Bad Boys for Life, a follow-up to one of my least favorite movies ever, Bad Boys II, had a superlative Friday. Considering that the trailers and ads were simply awful and the fact that very few sequels this long after the fact do well in the current box office atmosphere, a $23.5 million Friday on the first day of the long Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend has to be considered a massive win for distributor Sony.
Reuniting Martin Lawrence and Will Smith after almost 17 years away from this franchise, Bad Boys for Life actually has generally positive reviews (75 percent fresh) and an A Cinemascore. Perhaps getting away from Michael Bay made all the difference.
For the three-day portion of the weekend, Bad Boys for Life should earn about $60 million, and likely $70 million when you throw in the holiday Monday. Since this one had a $90 million budget, Sony will be thrilled with this result, positioning it well to go into a 2020 with some interesting releases (Blumhouse's Fantasy Island, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Morbius, and Venom 2).
Second goes to Dolittle, but not by much. The Robert Downey Jr. headliner has been lauded(?) by many as a strong contender for worst film of the year - and we're only 17 days into 2020. It beat 1917 by a hundred thousand or so, which means that the awards contender is going to finish in second by the time the weekend is complete.
With $6.3 miIlion yesterday, Dolittle might be able to tally $17 million for the three-day portion of the weekend. $22 million for the four-day holiday should be about right, a terrible number when compared to the $175 million budget. John Cena ruins everything.
Despite bringing in ten Academy Awards nominations, including Best Picture, 1917 still fell 56 percent to $6.2 million. The weekend total should be right at $20 million, and its life at the box office should be long and distinguished.
Our other nominee in the top ten, Little Women, fell only 25 percent from last Friday to $1.6 million. The Greta Gerwig film has crossed the $80 million mark, which is remarkable compared to its $40 million budget. It's delightful to see a female-directed/led film performing so well.