Will Smith surprises Bad Boys 4 moviegoers at a packed LA theatre; Fourthquel box office opening weekend projects $53M | Hollywood - Hindustan Times

Will Smith surprises Bad Boys 4 moviegoers at a packed LA theatre; Fourthquel box office opening weekend projects $53M

Jun 08, 2024 11:13 PM IST

Will Smith's first major post-slap theatrical return could rake in hefty numbers, paving the way for the star's ultimate comeback (and redemption?).

Miami cops Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett, aka Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, are back on the run, “Bad Boys-style,” with their new motto “Ride or Die.” Ironically, this three-fold revival of the much-loved cop buddy series had turned out to be a pleasing resurgence, especially for Smith, on multiple levels.

Will Smith surprises a packed theatre of Bad Boys 4 moviegoers in Los Angeles. (X/Twitter)
Will Smith surprises a packed theatre of Bad Boys 4 moviegoers in Los Angeles. (X/Twitter)

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is on his well-pun-intended pursuit of happiness - big time - with his latest June 7 theatrical premiere. Supposedly shut out from the cinematic marketplace (or any place - even his fans' hearts in some cases) after the infamous Oscar slap, Smith has visibly earned a warm welcome with the reverberating applause of social media praise-showers like “Will Smith had my support before the slap, in the midst of slapping, and after the slap.”

All critical reviews aside, his highly anticipated action-packed, spunky collaboration with Martin Lawrence has the Internet and even the box office standing in support of it.

As early AM opening weekend box office estimations for Bad Boys: Ride or Die poured out on Saturday morning (US time), a new era Will Smith renaissance seems inevitably unstoppable.

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Will Smith surprises fans at a theatre

Reciprocating all the love coming his way, the Bad Boys star was supposedly first in line to happily jumpscare his fans at a Los Angeles theatre. User @norbertoncn boasted Smith's astonishing theatre outing at a Cinemark hall.

The video features Smith casually walking out of a Bad Boys 4 show with the rest of the audience. However, no one seemed to notice him until one did in the lobby, working up a frenzy of excitement among other moviegoers who gradually realised what had happened.

@norbertoncn aptly captioned the video: “Surprise, when you walk out of Bad Boys movie and Will Smith walks out with you after having watched the movie with you!! Only at CINEMARK!”

Eventually, X/Twitter user @Kharijonesjr also shared his POV of the unexpected Bad Boys turnout. According to their post and replies, Smith reportedly wowed fans at Cinemark Baldwin Hills Crenshaw in Los Angeles.

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Bad Boys 4 signals a meta-reference to Will Smith's infamous Oscar slap controversy

The following raging scene at Cinemark, brimming with fans' love for the actor, starkly contrasted the social media tirades and echoes of the slap worldwide after the 94th Academy Awards incident.

Smith also seemingly did not take his theatrical return for granted. Lawrence's character repeatedly smacks Smith's Mike in an apparent nod to the infamous incident between him and Chris Rock onstage. Though self-conscious, the “late meta-joke” about Smith's controversial fall reportedly succeeded in drawing audible reactions from the audience at the film's advance screenings.

Bad Boys: Ride or Die box office opening projection

As for Bad Boys' box office returns, Deadline reported that the Sony flick grossed $21.6 million in the US on Friday, recording an estimated collection for the opening weekend of $53 million. While promising their “iconic mix of edge-of-your-seat action and outrageous comedy” with a twist, the fourth cinematic outing had already rounded up a whopping 97% Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes and an A- CinemaScore.

Smith and Lawrence's buddy venture reportedly attracted 44% Black movie buffs, 26% Hispanic and Latino, 18% Caucasian, and 12% Asian American/others.


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