MOVIES

Ride Or Die Blew Everyone Away At The Box Office

A popular debate among film fans today is whether or not franchise blockbusters killed the concept of “movie stars” — those increasingly rare actors that sell a movie on their name and face alone. If you look at the top 100 highest-grossing lead actors right now, you’ll see most of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Yet even among these familiar but far from ubiquitous names, you’ll find a few exceptions — Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise, and Will Smith.

As of writing, “Bad Boys: Ride or Die” is only Smith’s 22nd-highest grossing movie, just below the original “Bad Boys.” If this opening weekend surge doesn’t turn out to be a fluke, it will likely climb significantly higher — though perhaps not as high as “Bad Boys for Life,” which had an even stronger opening weekend at $62.5 million. In the years since, however, Smith’s star has been in flux maybe more than any actor working in the 2020s. His infamous Oscars slap turned him into both a viral meme and outright villain overnight. Amy Schumer, one of the year’s hosts, described the moment as “sickening” and “disturbing” in a Tweet, and Smith was banned from the Academy for 10 years as a result.

All this to say, “Ride or Die” was an important moment for Smith’s career — one that would mark his return to Hollywood and set the temperature for his future as one of America’s last movie stars. The level of interest generated by this unique circumstance shouldn’t be overlooked, nor should its potential impact on the film’s financial performance.

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