‘Dolittle’ trips when ‘Bad Boys’ scores are big at the box office

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“Dolittle” from Universal Pictures fell at the box office, validating months of concern in the study over the weak commercial prospects of the expensive remake.

The family comedy raised a mere $ 29.5 million in the US. UU. And Canada from Friday to Monday, according to preliminary estimates of the study, owned by

Comcast Corp.

CMCSA 1.34%

The movie cost $ 175 million and features Robert Downey Jr. in the lead role, his first big screen appearance since he played Iron Man in the megahit “Avengers: Endgame” last year, released by

Walt Disney Co.

DIS -0.54%

Universal Pictures had originally wanted to release “Dolittle” last April, but then interrupted those plans to be able to hire other filmmakers to try to rescue the film from a financial disaster with rewrites and weeks of reshoots.

‘Dolittle’ will be launched in China in February.

Photo:

Universal Pictures / Everett Collection

In this most recent iteration of “Dolittle,” the doctor, who has the ability to talk with animals, embarks on a dangerous journey to save the Queen of England from ill health.

More than two decades ago, Twentieth Century Fox, which is now owned by Disney and is called Twentieth Century Pictures, launched “Doctor Dolittle,” starring Eddie Murphy. After the 1998 comedy worked well, the studio released a sequel in 2001.

Without another important title for the family to reach theaters during the next few weeks, “Dolittle” could get enough ticket sales in the United States and abroad to recover a large portion of its massive budget.

“Dolittle” has so far earned $ 17.2 million in ticket sales abroad from 46 markets, according to Comscore. The film will be released in China, the second largest market behind the United States, in February.

The pain of Universal Dolittle was the gain of Sony Pictures Entertainment, as his action comedy “Bad Boys for Life” easily ranked first at the national box office.

the

Sony Corp.

SNE -0.19%

The third “Bad Boys” movie of the study raised $ 73.4 million in the United States and Canada from Friday to Monday, according to preliminary estimates from the study. That was the second best box office performance for a film that premiered widely during the January holidays, behind “American Sniper,” released in 2015 by

AT&T Inc.

T 0.92%

Warner Bros. That film, directed by Clint Eastwood, raised $ 107.2 million during its first weekend in cinemas across the country, after a limited release in December 2014.

In “Bad Boys for Life,” Will Smith and Martin Lawrence resume their roles as Miami police detectives, almost 25 years after the original, “Bad Boys” of 1995. They also starred in the follow-up “Bad Boys 2” in 2003.

In this third installment, Messrs. Smith and Lawrence are dodging more than bullets as the realities of exchanging badges and weapons for the lives of retirees become of great value. Decent criticism and enthusiastic ratings from the audience boosted the film to an additional $ 37.3 million in foreign ticket sales through Sunday, according to media measurement company Comscore.

Sony spent $ 90 million to make the film, according to a person familiar with the budget.

The solid performance of the first week of “Bad Boys for Life” adds to a favorable start for Sony’s box office 2020 prospects. The “Jumanji: The Next Level” studio also ranked in the top five in ticket sales this weekend after raising an additional $ 12.8 million during the holiday period. The film has earned $ 273.7 million nationwide and $ 708 million worldwide since its launch in December, according to Comscore.

Not everything was pessimism for Universal. The acclaimed “1917” film from the First World War studio, nominated for 10 Oscars, including the best film, won third place at the box office after raising $ 26.8 million during the holidays. The film has earned $ 81.4 million nationwide after four weeks.

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