The Bad Guys The Bad Guys

It’s been all good for Dreamworks Animation’s latest feature The Bad Guys during its first weekend at the box office. The cartoon heist flick pulled in an estimated $24 million over its first four days in U.S. cinemas.

A $24 million domestic opening weekend is a fantastic return on Dreamworks $69 million investment. Those numbers make for the second-highest pandemic-era animation opening behind Encanto ($27M), or fourth if you count hybrid film such as Sonic the Hedgehog 2 ($72 million) Space Jam 2 ($31 million).

Better still, the film has done well abroad, adding $63.1 million to its overall box office take. In total, the film has already grossed $87.1 million worldwide with an opening in China coming later this week.

The Bad Guys’ popularity with audiences mirrors the enthusiasm seen in critical reviews. Currently, The Bad Guys boasts an 86% score on Rotten Tomatoes’ Tomatometer and an A CinemaScore. Critics have praised the film’s wit, exuberant animation, and inspired action scenes.

Kids and family fare has proven to be a major catalyst in post-Covid box office recovery. Despite several other major title debuts over the weekend, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 held down the second spot at the box office, pulling in $15.2 million. That puts its current domestic total at $145.8 million and its worldwide take at $287.8 million.

Illumination’s Sing 2 crossed a major milestone of its own over the weekend, passing the $400 million mark worldwide. Its current domestic take sits at $162.7 million.

Sonic and Sing 2 are sequels though, and the former is adapted from one of the best-known video game franchises of all time. It’s significant that The Bad Guys, although based on a book series, is still a new IP to many who are seeing it in theaters.

It is worth noting however, that The Bad Guys was the beneficiary of a promotion push via NBCUniversal’s cross-platform Symphony marketing strategy. Few films get that kind of omnipresent marketing, and The Bad Guys box office success surely owes a debt to its robust PR campaign.