‘Bad Boys: Ride or Die’ Is Absolutely Crushing The Box Office

Will Smith and Martin Lawrence star in
Will Smith and Martin Lawrence star in "Bad Boys: Ride or Die." Frank Masi

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Hey, everyone! It’s Ty Cole with another edition of The Culture Catchall. Summertime is here, so the newsletter will hit your inboxes on Tuesdays for a bit. We should all be outside, touching some grass and shaking some ... margaritas by the pool on Friday evenings anyway!

Let’s get into the story of the week.

For all the naysayers who thought Will Smith wouldn’t and couldn’t do numbers after that incident, how are you feeling now? “Bad Boys: Ride or Die” is absolutely crushing the box office, proving that Smith and Martin Lawrence — who returned as detectives Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett in the fourth installment of the successful, high-octane franchise — are still a dynamic duo.

The film has shattered Hollywood’s expectations, reminding everyone that these actors are still box-office heavyweights. The movie earned $56 million from 3,885 theaters in its domestic debut and opened with $48.6 million internationally. That put its global total at $104.6 million, surpassing its production budget.

After an interactive press tour and hyping up fans by sharing behind-the-scenes moments, you would think the world would be singing Smith’s praises. Unfortunately, that wasn’t always the case here.

On social media, The Hollywood Reporter shared an article under the title “Box Office Upset: Will Smith’s ‘Bad Boys 4’ Delivers Huge Victory for Actor With $56M U.S. Debut, $104.6M Globally.” The post sparked negative reactions online, with users questioning what was so “upsetting” about the film’s impressive performance.

Naturally, public figures had to weigh in, too. Stephen A. Smith shared his thoughts on his YouTube show. While conceding that he’s still a fan of Will Smith, the sports commentator went on a tangent about not wanting to see the “Hitch” actor in movies. Instead, he wants Smith to sit down for an interview and explain why he struck Chris Rock at the 2022 Academy Awards.

“I’m just saying a lot of folks ain’t get over what happened,” he said in his rant. “A lot of folks find it hard to just go to the movies to watch you. I’m one of those people, and I never missed a Will Smith movie.”

Well, Stephen, you and everyone else who can’t seem to move past the slap will just have to wait on that.

Quite frankly, it’s 2024 — and I’m ready for this discussion to be over. It’s interesting that we can’t just celebrate the success of the “Bad Boys” franchise without diminishing its accolades by bringing up old news. Will Smith already apologized to Rock for the slap incident. His new film even makes a nod to the slap in a pitch-perfect moment during the fourth act. (Notably, the movie also nods at Lawrence’s infamous 1996 incident in which he walked into traffic and yelled at cars.)

The only person who should have any sort of feelings or response to Smith is Rock himself. If you are not him, it’s OK to stay quiet. It’s time to MOVE ON! I don’t care nor want to hear it anymore.

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