20th Century Fox/New Regency/GK Films’ Bohemian Rhapsody had the best Sunday hold of any title in the top 10, off just 29% from Saturday with $13.4 million, sending the Freddie Mercury biopic’s opening to $51M, $1M higher than the studio was spotting yesterday. Even better, Bohemian Rhapsody bested the lowest end of its $35M tracking projection by 46%.
Among all musical biopics, Bohemian Rhapsody ranks second behind Universal’s Straight Outta Compton, which debuted to $60.2M in August 2015 and played out to $161.1M stateside.
And with a solid A CinemaScore, and close to 5 stars on PostTrak, Bohemian Rhapsody isn’t calming down. Just like Fox’s The Greatest Showman, the Queen pic is going to have some very long legs.
While critics have taken the feature to task for not being a warts-all-story about Mercury with a 60% Rotten Tomatoes, neither the producers nor anybody at Fox is having regrets for making a PG-13 movie here. Queen appeals to a multitude of generations. Attend one of their concerts and you’ll see that it’s not just the 50+ crowd there, but their kids and grandkids. Bohemian Rhapsody producers Graham King, EP Denis O’Sullivan and Queen manager Jim Beach and bandmembers Brian May Roger Taylor always sought to carry over the joyous feeling of the band’s crowd-participation concerts to the big screen, and, well, mission accomplished. It comes as no surprise to hear that moviegoers wanted to watch this movie in the most premium of cinema settings, with PLF screens driving 17% of the weekend B.O. and Imax repping 12%.
Also, don’t count the pic out in the Oscar race. On Saturday night the film played to a standing ovation at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, with the crowd promptly on their feet once Rami Malek came out onstage.
Again, 51% female to 49% male turned out for Bohemian Rhapsody with 78% over 25, 22% under, and the biggest turnout being the 18-34 demo at 43%. Canada played strong repping close to 9% of the business with the Malek-headlining movie over-indexing in the West, Rockies and Midwest. Top grossing theaters came from Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Oklahoma City, Toronto, Vancouver, Denver, Montreal, San Antonio and Boston.
Meanwhile, industry estimates show Disney’s expensive The Nutcracker and the Four Realms with an estimated $5.8M Sunday, down 33% for a $20.3M opening in second place. That’s $300K higher than what Disney reported.
Paramount’s Nobody’s Fool earned an estimated $3.2M Sunday, down 43%, for a revised thee-day of $13.7M, which is $300K shy of where the studio was spotting it. These figures are from early-morning industry estimates. For our previous weekend box office update, click here.