The return of Will Smith and Martin Lawrence as Mike Lowrey and Marcus Bennett in Bad Boys for Life looks like it's going to be a profitable one for Sony. This is a sequel that has been a long time coming and, after years of discussion, it's finally in the can and ready to hit theaters in early 2020 and is poised to be one of the first blockbusters of the new decade. While it won't be breaking any records, the early numbers look good for this one.

At present, Bad Boys for Life is tracking for an opening weekend over the MLK holiday of $40 to $45 million from Friday to Monday. Sony is being a little conservative on their end, with the studio officially saying $38 million. In any case, for a movie that cost $90 million to produce, that's not a bad box office start. With a price tag like that, it doesn't need to make $100,000 million on opening weekend to be a hit. What's more, January doesn't have nearly as many big movies as the summer, so something like Bad Boys 3 can capitalize on a lack of direct competition.

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This will be an interesting test for the endurance of Will Smith as a bankable movie star. Things have been hit or miss for the actor in recent years, following his run as the biggest movie star on the planet in the 90s and early 2000s. While blockbusters such as Suicide Squad and this year's live-action Aladdin remake went on to become big hits, they were panned by critics, making it something of a win/lose. Yet, some of his more acclaimed efforts like Foucs and Concussion failed to bring moviegoers to theaters.

That makes Bad Boys for Life something of an interesting experiment. It's a popular franchise, but not quite as big as when Will smith returned for Men In Black III in 2012, and it's been dormant since Bad Boys II arrived in 2003. It's also following in the footsteps of Gemini Man, which failed to connect at the box office despite having double the Smith action. The actor is currently voicing the lead character in Spies In Disguise, but the family-friendly animated flick just hit theaters, so we can't yet say how that will pan out.

Michael Bay isn't returning to direct, Instead, relative newcomers Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah are taking the reigns on this one. The cast includes Vanessa Hudgens (Sucker Punch), Alexander Ludwig (The Hunger Games), Charles Melton (The Sun is Also a Star), Paola Nunez (The Son), Kate Del Castillo (Under the Same Moon), Nicky Jam (xXx: The Return of Xander Cage) and Joe Pantoliano (The Matrix), who is reprising his role as Captain Howard. Bad Boys for Life is set to hit theaters on January 17, 2020. This news comes to us via Forbes.