As has been well detailed, Bad Boys for Life has broken box office record after box office record. Most notably, the Will Smith/Martin Lawrence vehicle is set to easily become the highest-grossing film ever released in the month of January. Plus, the Bad Boys sequel is slated to rank very high on Will Smith’s legendary box office rankings—not too shabby.
One arena I haven’t seen discussed very much, though, is where Bad Boys for Life stands against other buddy cop movies, as that aging, nearly-forgotten genre has churned out some major blockbusters over the years.
So, does the Bad Boys sequel have an outside chance to overtake the highest-grossing buddy cop movies?
First, let’s look at the all-time domestic rankings for buddy cop movies. Then we’ll dig deeper into the numbers after that:
- Men in Black ($250.7 million)
- Rush Hour 2 ($226.2 million)
- 22 Jump Street ($191.7 million)
- Men in Black II ($190.4 million)
- Men in Black III ($179 million)
- The Heat ($159.6 million)
- Lethal Weapon 2 ($147.3 million)
- Lethal Weapon 3 ($144.7 million)
- Pokemon Detective Pikachu ($143.5 million)
- Rush Hour ($141.2 million)
As you can see, Bad Boys for Life is just outside the top ten. And by this time next week, the film should rest somewhere in the 7-10 range.
Now let’s dissect Bad Boys for Life’s box office numbers so far. After just 10 days in theaters, the Will Smith/Martin Lawrence juggernaut pulled in a whopping $120.7 million—way above expectations. The film has enjoyed a 3,775-theater run thus far.
Now let’s look at the ten-day totals for all of those buddy cop movies listed previously, and where they stand against Bad Boys for Life:
- Rush Hour 2 ($133.5 million)
- Bad Boys for Life ($120.7 million)
- Men in Black ($118.8 million)
- Men in Black II ($115.6 million)
- 22 Jump Street ($109.9 million)
- Men in Black III ($111.1 million)
- Pokemon Detective Pikachu ($94.3 million)
- The Heat ($86.3 million)
- Lethal Weapon 3 ($70.5 million)
- Rush Hour ($64 million)
- Lethal Weapon 2 ($49.2 million)
From those rankings, it’s clear that Bad Boys for Life is moving at an ideal pace. Not only is the Will Smith/Martin Lawrence film miles ahead of most movies in the buddy cop sub-genre, but the film is already moving faster than Men in Black did back in 1997. Plus, Bad Boys for Life is only steps behind Rush Hour 2’s pace in 2001.
That leaves $130 million for Bad Boys for Life to make up between now and the end of its run. A big portion of that—anywhere from $50 million to $60 million—will come over the next few weeks. In the meantime, we’ll keep tabs on the film’s box office run.
One last note: Bad Boys for Life has already passed the original Bad Boys’ domestic total of $65.8 million, and has neared Bad Boys II’s lifetime domestic gross of $138.6 million.