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How Much Did Will Smith and Martin Lawrence Get Paid for ‘Bad Boys’ Movies

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Bad Boys Will Smith Martin Lawrence
HOLLYWOOD, CA / USA - JANUARY 14, 2020: Will Smith and Martin Lawrence at the Premiere Of Columbia Pictures' "Bad Boys For Life" held at TCL Chinese Theatre on January 14, 2020 in Hollywood, Ca. (Silvia Elizabeth Pangaro / Shutterstock.com)

As the Bad Boys franchise evolved with detectives Marcus Burnett ( Lawrence) and Mike Lowery (Will Smith), so did the pay disparity between the two lead actors. Fandom Wire revealed that Lawrence reportedly earned considerably more than Smith for their roles in the initial 1995 , leading many fans to express surprise.

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Key Takeaways:
– Significant salary difference between Will Smith and in the initial Bad Boys movie.
– Subsequent films in the franchise saw a salary parity and then a reversal in favor of Will Smith.
– The fourth film in the franchise, titled “Bad Boys: Ride or Die,” has been announced for a 2024 release.

The Unexpected Pay Gap in Original ‘Bad Boys'

The first film in the Bad Boys series was produced when Smith was still the breakout from The Fresh of Bel-Air. At the same time, Lawrence had already enjoyed major success with his sitcom, Martin. Consequently, Lawrence commanded a paycheck of $6 million, a striking $4 million more than Smith's $2 million for the same film.

The film that stellar performances from both stars received mixed reviews However, its sequel, Bad Boys II, experienced a critical flop. Despite the setback, audiences ardently supported the franchise's third installment, Bad Boys for , prompting the greenlight from for the fourth film, Bad Boys: Ride or Die, slated for release in 2024.

Charting the Changes in Pay Parity

The turn of the century signaled a shift in the career graphs of both Lawrence and Smith. As Smith rose to prominence in the late '90s and early 2000s, his paycheck for Bad Boys II experienced a quantum leap from $2 to $20 million. Lawrence's salary was leveled up to match Smith's, culminating in a pay parity unseen in the original movie.

Smith's rising star status saw him become part of numerous large-scale projects, while Lawrence's career trajectory waned. Seventeen years later, with the release of Bad Boys for Life, Smith was offered a deal worth $17 million, surpassing Lawrence by a staggering $11 million. Overall, Smith took home a total of $39 million from the three films while Lawrence earned $32 million.

Looking Ahead: ‘Bad Boys: Ride or Die'

As the drop for the highly anticipated Bad Boys: Ride or Die took place recently, fans can expect more high-octane action from Smith and Lawrence. The directors of Bad Boys for Life, Adil El Arbi, and Bilall Fallah, are set to return for the fourth iteration.

Recasting familiar faces such as Joe Pantoliano, Vanessa Hudgens, Alexander Ludwig, and Paola Núñez, along with the addition of Eric Dane and Ioan Gruffudd, the upcoming film follows the detectives investigating their boss's framing as a seasoned drug smuggler. Sony aims to cross the $1 billion mark with this franchise that has garnered $841 million at the box office globally.

Fans can look forward to catching Bad Boys: Ride or Die in theaters on June 7, 2024. Regardless of the twists and turns over the years, moviegoers eagerly await the return of the dynamic duo in this iconic franchise. While it remains unclear if Lawrence's and Smith's salaries would once again find parity, their roles promise unmatched action and entertainment.

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