In today’s Hollywood, the established franchise is everything. If a studio doesn’t have a veritable arsenal of sequels, prequels, or adaptations of proven material to release each year, they’re in serious trouble. Luckily for Sony, the company currently finds itself overflowing with marketable properties, both this year and next. One such anticipated sequel that had been penciled in for early 2017 was Bad Boys 3, the third installment of the action-comedy franchise starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. Well, it turns out fans will have to wait a few months longer than expected to get their next Michael Bay-approved dose of breathtaking stunts, sarcastic quips, big guns, and stuff blowing up.
Last summer, Sony officially scheduled Bad Boys 3 for a February 17, 2017 release, and even went as far as setting a July 3, 2019 release date for Bad Boys 4. While it’s still not clear whether stars Smith and Lawrence will even be returning for the fourth film, Sony has now opted to move Bad Boys 3 to June 2, 2017. The decision to set Bad Boys 3 for summer seems motivated by logistics, as Sony’s recent progress with its long-gestating adaptation of The Dark Tower necessitated a little shuffling in the 2017 schedule.
The first Dark Tower film will take over Bad Boys 3’s previous Presidents Day weekend spot, although one could argue that releasing in June instead of February is an upgrade in terms of profile. While the original Bad Boys movie came out in April and was a bit of a surprise hit for first-time feature director Bay, the 2003 follow-up, Bad Boys II, came out in July and went on to rake in nearly $300 million worldwide. Then again, the traditional opinion that February serves as a dumping ground for movies a studio has no confidence in may now be changing thanks to the meteoric success enjoyed by Fox’s Deadpool. Still, opening an action blockbuster in June does seem like the safer bet, despite the fact that the competition it faces will likely be much stiffer.
With The A-Team’s Joe Carnahan now in the director’s chair — and Bay still on board as a producer — Bad Boys 3 will serve as a test of just how bankable the team of Smith and Lawrence is nowadays. Smith’s last big blockbuster hit came via another threequel, with 2012’s Men in Black 3. There’s a chance Suicide Squad could reignite the fire of his career, but the jury is still out as to how well he will be received in the role of Deadshot. Lawrence, meanwhile, hasn’t headlined a film since Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son in 2011, so this will certainly be a return to action for the comedian.
Does the duo of Mike Lowery and Marcus Burnett still have what it takes to clean up the streets of Miami, while also making bank at the box office? The world will find out next summer.
Bad Boys 3 hits theaters on June 2, 2017. Bad Boys 4 debuts on July 3, 2019.