Will Smith’s star-making franchise seems to have saved his career again.

bad boys: ride or die,

Will Smith’s latest action film Bad Boys: Ride or Die seems to have hit it big at the box office. The fourth installment of the action film franchise which made Smith a star reportedly had a great opening weekend of $104 million at the international box office. The film also starred Martin Lawrence, Vanessa Hudgens, and Eric Dane in lead roles.

The film is Smith’s first release since 2022’s Emancipation, which was on the heels of the infamous slap at the 2022 Oscars. Will Smith was banned from attending the ceremony and he even resigned from the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences. However, Bad Boys: Ride or Die’s box office performance implies that the slap was not as big of a career-ender.

Will Smith Wins Big At The Box Office With Bad Boys: Ride or Die

Will Smith and Martin Lawrence in Bad BoysA still from Bad Boys | Credits: Columbia Pictures/Don Simpson/Jerry Bruckheimer Films

Will Smith had his Hollywood breakthrough when he starred in back-to-back action blockbusters Independence Day and Bad Boys. The latter, which was Michael Bay’s directorial debut was known for its stylized action sequences and Smith and Martin Lawrence’s chemistry. The buddy cop film earned $141 million at the box office.

The success of the film spawned three more films in the franchise, which arrived at irregular intervals. Seventeen years after Bad Boys II, the duo returned to the franchise with Bad Boys for Life, which was a huge success. The 2020 film saw Smith and Lawrence, as well as multiple new actors such as Vanessa Hudgens, Alexander Ludwig, and Paola Núñez.

Will Smith and Martin Lawrence in Bad Boys: Ride or Die

A still from Bad Boys: Ride of Die | Credits: Columbia Pictures/Don Simpson/Jerry Bruckheimer Films/Westbrook Studios/2.0 Entertainment

The success led to a fourth film being greenlit, with the same directors Adil & Bilal set to return. After multiple delays due to the pandemic and other issues, Bad Boys: Ride or Die finally released earlier this week and seems to have hit it big. According to Deadline, the film had a wonderful domestic opening of $56 million in the US.

Deadline reported that the impressive box office opening of Bad Boys: Ride or Die is the highest for an R-rated film since last year’s Oppenheimer. The figures included the box office collections of the Thursday night previews as well. The success of the film has also brought forth the opinion that Will Smith’s Oscar slap did not derail his career as it was predicted.

Will Smith Survives Oscars Slapgate With Bad Boys: Ride or Die

Will Smith in Antoine Fuqua's EmancipationA still from Emancipation | Credits: Apple Studios/Westbrook Studios/McFarland Entertainment/Escape Artists

The first weekend collections at the international box office for Will Smith’s Bad Boys: Ride or Die have reportedly amounted to $104 million (via The Numbers). This makes it one of the biggest openings of the Summer, which was seeing a bit of struggle from projected hits such as The Full Guy and Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga.

The success of Bad Boys 4 has also proved that Will Smith’s career has survived his infamous controversy at the 2022 Oscars. The actor famously slapped stand-up comic and host Chris Rock at the ceremony after the latter made a joke about Jada Pinkett-Smith’s hair.

The slap became international news, which escalated after Smith won the Oscar for Best Actor at the same ceremony for King Richard. The actor resigned from the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences and was banned from attending any of the events of the Academy for a decade. He even issued a public apology.

Smith’s slap also affected his career at the time. The sequel to Netflix’s Bright with Smith was reportedly canceled after the incident and his follow-up film Emanicaptaion had only a limited release before it was pushed to streaming (via Comic Book). Even Bad Boys: Ride or Die was paused for a bit due to the controversy before being greenlit again (via IndieWire).