Nobody was quite sure if, nearly two decades after the last entry, there was still an audience for Bad Boys. However, the box office response to the film has made it quite clear, that there absolutely was an audience that was dying to see the return of Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. In fact, the return has been so strong that Bad Boys For Life is looking like it might become the highest grossing January release of all time.
In its second weekend of release, Bad Boys For Life has reached a domestic total of $120 million. Having reached that point in only 10 days of business, the movie is in a class with movies like the first Twilight and Thor movies, which grossed between $180 and $220 million. Assuming that Bad Boys For Life hits even the low end of that range, it will become the highest grossing movie ever released in January, passing the current January champ, Paul Blart: Mall Cop, which grossed $146 million domestically.
As with many box office records, this one is a bit nuanced. Clint Eastwood's American Sniper opened in wide release in January in 2015, but it technically is counted as a December 2014 opening, because it opened in limited release at Christmas to qualify for awards. That film grossed $350 million domestically, almost all of it after January 1.
Still, while Bad Boys For Life certainly isn't going to gross more money in January than other films, it's certainly still doing well for a month that is generally looked at as a slow one at the box office. 2020 is off to a better start than 2019 was at this point. Some of that is thanks to end of 2019 holdovers like Jumanji and Star Wars, which are still do significant business, but the success of Bad Boys For Life is certainly part of that as well.
The success of the film is certainly good news, as it has already led to reported plans to write a fourth film, which had been teased at the end of Bad Boys For Life. It feels like the decision to release Bad Boys For Life in January came from the worry that the audience might not turn out. Now, one wonders if the January success will result in a more accessible release date for part four, or if the movie will stay in January, when it has less competition to deal with.
If Bad Boys For Life becomes the highest grossing January movie release it will also become the highest grossing movie in the Bad Boys series, and the new movie is also the best reviewed of the three movies by far. It seems that not only is Bad Boys still something movie fans are into, but it's actually more popular than ever.