Wed | Apr 24, 2024

'Bob Marley One Love' debuts at number one; 'Madame 'Web' flops

Published:Sunday | February 18, 2024 | 3:09 PM
This image released by Paramount Pictures shows Kingsley Ben-Adir, right, and Lashana Lynch in 'Bob Marley: One Love'.
This image released by Paramount Pictures shows Kingsley Ben-Adir, right, and Lashana Lynch in 'Bob Marley: One Love'.
Kingsley Ben-Adir (left), star of 'Bob Marley: One Love', poses with Marley's son Ziggy at the Los Angeles premiere of the film, Tuesday.
Kingsley Ben-Adir (left), star of 'Bob Marley: One Love', poses with Marley's son Ziggy at the Los Angeles premiere of the film, Tuesday.
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NEW YORK (AP):

Paramount Pictures’ Bob Marley biopic Bob Marley: One Love outperformed expectations to debut at No. 1 at the box office with a $27.7-million opening weekend, while Sony’s Madame Web flopped with one of the lowest debuts for a movie centred on a Marvel character.

Both films launched in theatres on Tuesday to rope in Valentine’s Day moviegoers. But on a weekend that was once expected to go to Madame Web, One Love emerged as the much-preferred option in theatres, despite largely poor reviews.

Instead, One Love performed roughly on par with previous hit musical biopics like Rocketman and Elvis. Paramount is forecasting that One Love will gross $51 million over its first six days. It added $29 million from 47 international territories.

Chris Aronson, distribution chief for Paramount, noted that pre-release projections forecast a six-day total closer to $30 million for One Love. But moviegoers from a wide range turned out for the first big-screen biopic of the Rastafarian legend.

“It was across all generations. It wasn’t just a movie for an older audience that grew up with Bob Marley’s music,” said Aronson. “Our highest quadrant was (age) 18 to 24. A third of the audience was under 25. That, to me, speaks volumes.”

Produced for about $70 million, One Love, directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green, chronicles Marley during the making of the 1977 album Exodus, while leading up to a pivotal concert for his native Jamaica. Among the movie’s producers are Marley’s children, Ziggy and Cedella, and his wife, Rita.

Ziggy Marley, in a statement on Sunday, said: “We thank the people for embracing this film and in so doing helping to highlight the message of 'one love'.”

Though critics dinged the film (43 per cent 'fresh' on Rotten Tomatoes) for relying on biopic conventions, audiences gave it a much higher grade, with an 'A' CinemaScore.

Madame Web, however, was dead on arrival. Over six days, Sony is estimating a $15.2-million weekend and a six-day, $25.8-million haul.

The 2024 box office has gotten off to a sobering start for Hollywood, and the disappointing result for Madame Web won’t help. Even with the strong One Love opening, ticket sales were down 15 per cent on the weekend, compared to 2023, according to ComScore.

Expectations are high for Dune: Part Two, opening pn March 1. Until then, Bob Marley: One Love will be jammin’.