(From left) Will Smith and Martin Lawrence attend the premiere of Columbia Pictures' "Bad Boys For Life" at TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California.-AFP

It took Sony 17 years, but the latest "Bad Boys" sequel appears to be paying off, taking in $73 million over the long US holiday weekend, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations reported Tuesday. "Bad Boys for Life" stars Will Smith and Martin Lawrence as wise-cracking detectives who reunite after years apart to take on a murderous Miami drug cartel.

The previous installment, "Bad Boys II" dates from 2003, eight years after the original "Bad Boys." In second place was the critically acclaimed Oscar heavyweight "1917," last weekend's box office leader from Universal. The World War I drama booked $26.9 million in ticket sales over the Friday-to-Monday period.

Despite a lack of big stars, it has won both the Golden Globe and the Producers Guild of America awards for best drama. Another new release, Universal's "Dolittle," starring Robert Downey Jr., placed third with $28.3 million over the four days. Based on a beloved children's book about a veterinarian who can talk to animals, the film has been savaged by critics-who have called it "utterly lifeless," "a quicksand of a movie" and "shockingly unfunny."

The presence of Downey, hugely popular in the Marvel superhero films, and of an all-star voice cast including Emma Thompson, Ralph Fiennes, Antonio Banderas, Rami Malek, Octavia Spencer and Marion Cotillard, may have helped boost its fortunes. Sony's "Jumanji: The Next Level," slid one spot from last weekend to fourth, taking in $12.7 million.

The action sequel stars Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Kevin Hart. Fifth spot went to Disney's "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker," at $10.6 million. Globally, the finale of the nine-film "Skywalker Saga" has now surpassed the $1 billion mark.

Rounding out the top 10 were:

"Little Women" ($8.2 million)

"Just Mercy" ($7.5 million)

"Knives Out" ($5.3 million)

"Like a Boss" ($4.8 million)

"Frozen II" ($5.3 million)-AFP