Fox must be playing We are the Champions on a loop after this weekend’s box office performance of Bohemian Rhapsody. Defying expectations, the Freddie Mercury biopic earned a massive $50 million domestically and added another $72 million internationally. The film wildly over-performed, opening wide in 4000 theaters in North America and thrilling audiences with a tale of Queen’s exploits leading up to the rock band’s legendary appearance at 1985’s Live Aid concert.
Bohemian Rhapsody now holds second place all-time behind Straight Outta Compton in the realm of opening-weekend box office performance for music biopics. F. Gary Gray‘s hip-hop drama chronicling the journey of N.W.A. earned just over $60 million when it opened in 2015. For a more recent comparison, Bohemian Rhapsody topped Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s critically acclaimed A Star Is Born, which tallied $42 million when it opened in October.
Further showing the disconnect between critical reception and audience perception, the Rami Malek-starring Bohemian Rhapsody scored a mixed 60% positive on Rotten Tomatoes with film critics, while audiences gave it 96% positive and an A CinemaScore. “I’m not surprised there’s a disconnect, but audiences didn’t miss it,” said Fox’s head of domestic distribution, Chris Aronson. “That’s the power of word of mouth — and Queen and their music.”
The film also weathered the storm of losing its director, Bryan Singer, near the end of production. Singer’s continual absence from set and reported unprofessional-ism caused Fox to temporarily halt production and replace him with director Dexter Fletcher. Singer has also been dogged with sexual assault allegations, though Fox claims that had nothing to do with his removal from Bohemian Rhapsody. Even with production difficulties, the film only cost $52 million to make, so already earning $122 million worldwide is quite a feat.
In other box office news, Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms opened with a disappointing $20 million, a paltry sum considering the movie’s $125 million production costs. The film earned another $38.5 million internationally. Paramount’s Nobody’s Fool landed in third place, earning $13.7 million in its debut. Tyler Perry’s first R-rated comedy stars Tiffany Haddish, and while it’s a low opener for Perry, it still nearly made back its budget in one weekend.
Here is your November 2-4, 2018 weekend top 10, courtesy of Box Office Mojo:
|TW||LW||Title (click to view)||Studio||Weekend Gross||% Change||Theater Count / Change||Average||Total Gross||Budget*||Week #|
|2||N||The Nutcracker and the Four Realms||BV||$20,000,000||–||3,766||–||$5,311||$20,000,000||–||1|
|4||2||A Star is Born (2018)||WB||$11,100,000||-20.9%||3,431||-473||$3,235||$165,634,566||$36||5|
|8||4||Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween||Sony||$3,700,000||-49.2%||2,828||-895||$1,308||$43,832,316||$35||4|
|10||6||The Hate U Give||Fox||$3,400,000||-33.4%||1,507||-868||$2,256||$23,460,924||$23||5|