Weekend Box Office

Weekend Box Office Results: Lots of Love for Bob Marley over Valentine's Day

The reggae legend's biopic did solid numbers from Valentine's Day through the President's Day weekend, while Sony's Madame Web scores the weakest opening of the studio's Spider-Man Universe.

by | February 20, 2024 | Comments


Thank Valentine’s Day, President’s Day, or the universal power of Bob Marley’s music, but theaters saw some dough this week, which essentially comprised a six-day stretch extending from the former holiday on Wednesday through the latter on Monday. One new movie made more during that period than the entire box office weekend. A second movie did about half of that — or a quarter of its budget — and has been deemed by some to be one of the worst movies ever made. Check your hyperbole until Dune: Part Two comes out to save theaters again, but until then, this weekend will certainly do.

King of the Crop: Bob Marley: One Love Stirs It Up from Valentine’s Day to President’s Day

Leading the way with a strong showing over the Valentine’s-to-President’s Day stretch was Bob Marley: One Love. The music biopic from the director of true-life tales King Richard and Joe Bell grossed an estimated $52 million in its first six days, including a record-setting $14 million on the day of hearts alone. Not quite Bohemian Rhapsody numbers ($65.6 million) but better than Rocketman ($34.3 million), also distributed by Paramount. It’s a little early to start talking long term, given how the holidays and lack of other options could have contributed to a frontloaded situation. Remember when The Color Purple musical opened to over $18 million on Christmas Day and then just barely crossed $60 million? That kind of fall seems unlikely for One Love, but let’s look at further comparisons.

One Love is just inside the Top 20 best openings in February over a five-day stretch. It is just ahead of Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes To Jail, which only made it to $90 million. A few others just outside that top 20, including Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief, 2009’s Friday the 13th, and Alita: Battle Angel did not make it to $100 million, but One Love should have no problem getting there. An $11 million lead on Rocketman puts the film on track to be in the vicinity of $107 million. However, its $70 million price tag (nearly as much as this week’s other wide release) will have it counting on the international appeal of Marley and his music to turn a profit for Paramount. Rocketman cost just $40 million and made $195 million worldwide. Bob Marley: One Love has currently added another $29 million outside of North America.

The Top 10 and Beyond: Madame Web Flops, Lisa Frankenstein Drops

Opening in second place this week was the latest entry in the Not-Quite-Marvel Spider-Man Alternaverse from Sony, Madame Web. The film was savaged by critics, who haven’t had the highest opinion of the studio’s previous live-action Spider-efforts either. The first Venom received a Tomatometer score of 30% back in 2018. Morbius from 2022 (15%) is still a punchline. During the pandemic, Venom: Let There Be Carnage had some better support with a 57% score. Such is not the case for Madame, which, with a 13% Tomatometer Score, has critics auditioning to write copy for next year’s Razzies.

The $80 million-budgeted film — the cheapest of all these films, which have cost between $83-110 million before P&A — also had the weakest opening of the lot with $26.2 million. Mind you, that is $26.2 million estimated from Wednesday to Monday. Six days. Morbius opened to $39 million in just three. The Marvels opened to $46.1 million. Madame Web is less than $4 million ahead of what the parody Date Movie made in its first six days, or Jupiter Ascending or another Dakota Johnson starrer, How To Be Single. None of those films made it to $50 million domestic, and any morbid curiosity about the film’s quality may have already been spent this weekend. Madame Web earned the same C+ Cinemascore that Morbius did; these are the only Marvel-inspired films to receive as low a rating from audiences. Even Ang Lee’s Hulk got a B-. Budget-wise, this is still not a catastrophic disaster compared to other recent box office failures from both Marvel and DC (worldwide, the film is over $51 million), but it’s certainly nowhere near a victory either.

In its third week, Argylle is down to third place with $5 million from Fri-Mon. The $200 million production has now grossed just $37.5 million in 18 days. It is not going to reach $50 million domestic. With just $40 million internationally, it stands at $77.3 million and may just barely reach $100 million globally, if at all. The math is the math. Universal at least has Illumination’s Migration, which also earned $5 million over the holiday, bringing its total to over $116 million domestic and $256 million worldwide. That is a hit. Argylle is a giant bomb.

Not a bomb in any way is Warner Bros. Wonka, which continues to help fill that family void, making another $4.5 million over the holiday. Now at over $211 million, the film has also crossed $600 million worldwide. It will also give Timothée Chalamet two films in the top 10 once Dune: Part Two mounts an attempt to match those numbers in a couple of weeks. The television show The Chosen is now playing episodes 4-6 of the new season into the start of Lent, and it grossed $3.9 million over the holiday. Episodes 1-3 of season 4 grossed $13.9 million in its two-week run.

No standalone Jason Statham vehicle (aka no franchise, above-the-title co-star, etc.) had ever grossed $50 million before. The Beekeeper is over $60 million with another $3.8 million through the holiday. The film’s $143+ million worldwide has to have some thinking about a sequel to the $40 million production. The rom-com that won’t go away, Anyone But You, added $2.8 million to its haul. It is now about to pass $85 million domestic and is over $189 million worldwide. Who would have guessed that the Sony release starring Sydney Sweeney to perform the best would be this film, and not Madame Web? Well, before the latter released its first trailer, anyway.

On its way out of the top 10, Lisa Frankenstein dropped to $2 million over the holiday weekend, and even with the holiday, it’s up to just $8 million total, a disappointment for the $13 million project. The Mean Girls musical made $1.1 million over the holiday and is now over $71 million. The Hemsworth-squared vehicle with a wedge of Russell Crowe, Land of Bad, grossed $2 million over the weekend in just 1,120 theaters.

There are just three more weeks to the Oscars, and audiences are still catching up. Poor Things added $1.08 to its take, which is now over $32 million domestic and $92 million worldwide. American Fiction made about the same over the weekend ($966,000) and is over $19 million. The release of the 2024 Oscar Nominated Short Films grossed $915,000 in just 375 theaters. Wim Wenders’ Perfect Days, nominated for Best International Feature, made $292,000 in 34 theaters and is up to $531,000. Finally, France’s shortlisted selection for that category, The Taste of Things, came up short of a nomination, but the IFC release expanded into 505 theaters and grossed $701,000 for a total now of $1.16 million.

On the Vine: Ethan Coen Goes Solo with Drive-Away Dolls

A film that could surprise many next week is Ordinary Angels. The true story with Hilary Swank and Alan Ritchson is opening in the same spot where Lionsgate opened Jesus Revolution last year to nearly $16 million. Second place should be in the bag for it, but don’t rule out a No. 1 finish. Focus Features could not sell Lisa Frankenstein last week, so they can try again this week with Ethan Coen’s solo directorial debut Drive-Away Dolls. The Margaret Qualley/Geraldine Viswanathan crime comedy was moved away from September during the strike and is hoping for a top five finish. Anything lower will look even sadder than Lisa Frankenstein.

Full List of Box Office Results: February 16-19, 2024

  • $28.6 million (3-day), $34.1 million (4-day) – $52 million total

  • $15.3 million (3-day), $18 million (4-day) – $26.2 million total

  • $4.87 million (3-day), $5.6 million (4-day) – $37.3 million total

  • $3.8 million (3-day), $5 million (4-day) – $116.1 million total

  • $3.5 million (3-day), $4.3 million (4-day) – $210.7 million total

  • $3.4 million (3-day), $3.9 million (4-day) – $4.7 million total

  • $3.2 million (3-day), $3.8 (4-day) – $60.5 million total

  • $2.4 million (3-day), $2.8 million (4-day) – $85.1 million total

  • $2 million (3-day), $2.4 million (4-day) – $8.1 million total

  • $1.8 million (3-day), $2.1 million (4-day) – $2.1 million total

Erik Childress can be heard each week evaluating box office on Business First AM with Angela Miles and his Movie Madness Podcast.

[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]

Thumbnail image by Chiabella James/©Paramount Pictures

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