Just over 13 years ago, risk-taking Miami cops Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) last rode together - but managed not to die together - in Michael Bay's Bad Boys II. While the critical notices and overall fan sentiment weren't quite as positive as that earned by the original film, Bad Boys II did quite well at the box office, bringing in $273.3 million worldwide. At the time, most assumed this would lead to a third installment, but instead the franchise went quiet for over a decade. That was until last year, when Sony announced that the Bad Boys franchise was being resurrected for entries 3 and 4.
With both Smith and Lawrence back in the fold - and Bay returning as a producer - fans naturally began to get excited for the prospect of two more Lowrey and Burnett adventures, with Bad Boys 3 getting scheduled for release on February 17, 2017 and Bad Boys 4 set to arrive on July 3rd, 2019. Unfortunately, that excitement was dampened by Sony's subsequent decision to push back Bad Boys 3 to June 2, 2017. Still, the fact that the sequel had been shifted into a prime summer slot caused many to assume that the studio now saw the third Bad Boys as a potential tentpole release for 2017.
Unfortunately, those waiting for their next taste of Smith and Lawrence's badass narcotics detectives cleaning up Miami will now have to wait even longer to get their fix. Sony has once again delayed Bad Boys 3's release date, pushing back the sequel a full seven months to January 12, 2018. The studio has yet to offer up an explanation for the move. Along with the date shift comes a title change, as Bad Boys 3 has been rechristened Bad Boys For Life, in a clear nod to one of the best known quotes from the series.
One wonders what this means for Sony's current confidence level in the success of Bad Boys 3. January - and to some extent February, although Deadpool has changed that perception a bit - is traditionally regarded as the dumping ground for major Hollywood releases that the studio in question doesn't feel are worthy of a more desired slot on the release calendar. This is especially true for sequels to high-profile franchises, as normally a highly anticipated follow-up would be a lock to arrive during the summer blockbuster season.
With Bad Boys 3 now not arriving until 2018, it'll likely be only a matter of time before Sony announces a delay for Bad Boys 4 as well. Here's hoping that the move to January doesn't spell doom for Bad Boys 3's prospects, as fans have waited a long time to see Smith and Lawrence suit up and bust bad guys for a third time.
Bad Boys For Life hits theaters on January 12, 2018. Bad Boys 4 is currently scheduled to arrive on July 3rd, 2019.
Source: Exhibitor Relations