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Box Office: Bob Marley: One Love Pulls Off a Surprise Presidents Day Victory with $52 Million

If someone were to tell us that the biggest movie of the first two months of 2024 would be a biopic about Reggae superstar, Bob Marley, we might not have believed you, especially since biopics about Whitney Houston and Aretha Franklin haven’t done that well in recent years. But that was the case as Paramount PicturesBob Marley: One Love dominated over the extended Presidents Day weekend that began on Valentine’s Day Wednesday.

Released by Paramount into 3,539 theaters, Bob Marley: One Love, starring Kingsley Ben-Adir (One Night in Miami…) and Lashana Lynch (No Time to Die) as Bob and Rita Marley and directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green, may have struggled to make money after reviews hit that were mixed-to-negative, although those improved as more reviews were submitted.  One Love ended up grossing an astounding $14 million on its opening Wednesday, Valentine’s Day, which could have made the film as frontloaded as last year’s The Color Purple. After dropping with just $3.9 million on Thursday, One Love actually got a nice weekend bump, making $28.6 million over the three-day weekend, and a projected $34.1 million including Presidents Day Monday.

That adds up to $52 million in the movie’s first six days, which makes it the biggest opener of the year, ahead of Mean Girls back in January and potentially the first movie to open this year to make more than $100 million. One Love also received an “A” on audience polling site CinemaScore, showing that the Marley fans who came out to theaters enjoyed the movie enough to recommend to others.

Sony Pictures must have been quite mystified by how poorly its latest Spider-Man-related movie, Madame Web, fared, especially since it was able to get it into 4,013 theaters, one of the widest releases of the year so far. Directed by SJ Clarkson, who has made her mark on television, Madame Web starred Dakota Johnson, fresh off her gig hosting Saturday Night Live, as well as Sydney SweeneyTahar RahimCeleste O’Connor (Ghostbusters: Afterlife), Isabela Merced (Dora the Explorer), and Adam Scott. Despite an intriguing take on a lesser-known Marvel character, Madame Web received some of the worst reviews of the year, with just 13% on Rotten Tomatoes.

That didn’t help matters, as it opened with $6 million on Valentine’s Day, then made just $2.1 million on Thursday. Ultimately, it fell far behind Bob Marley, with just $15.4 million over the three-day weekend for second place. With Presidents Day, Madame Web is projected to make $18 million over the four-day weekend and $26.2 million in its first six days, roughly half the amount made by Bob Marley: One Love. Its “C+” CinemaScore (same as Morbius two years ago) does not bode well for Madame Web to have anything resembling Spider-legs.

Overseas, Madame Web debuted with an estimated $25.7 million through Sunday for a global total of $49.1 million, with Mexico and the UK both debuting with $2.9 million and France following with $1.6 million.

Universal Pictures took the next two slots with Matthew Vaughn‘s action-comedy Argylle bouncing back a little after last weeks’ Super Bowl weekend drop with $4.7 million over the three-day weekend, down 25%, and a projected $5.5 million including Monday. That puts it at $37.3 million domestic after three weekends, which is not great at all. It added another $4.2 million overseas this weekend for an international total of $40 million and global through Sunday at $76.5 million, which is still not great.

Universal’s animated Migration took fourth place with $3.8 million three-day and $5 million four-day, as it continued its outstanding run in the top 5 for the past ten weeks since opening just before Christmas. It has grossed $116 million domestically, with another $140 million overseas for a global total of $254.8 million through Sunday.

Taking fifth place was Warner Bros‘ holiday hit, Wonka, starring Timothée Chalamet, with $3.5 million over the three-day weekend and a projected $4.3 million including Presidents Day. As of Sunday, it has grossed $209.8 million domestically, and it crossed the $600 million mark globally over the weekend, adding another $7.8 million overseas for an international total of $395.1 million and global cume of $604.9 million.

Angel Studios released the next three episodes of Season 4 of the biblical drama series, The Chosen, into 2,228 theaters on Thursday, and after making $776k its opening day — about half what the first three episodes made – it was projected to make $3.4 million over the three-day weekend, which put it in contention for fifth place, but it might have to settle for sixth place. The last two episodes will be released in two weeks, but clearly, this is an experiment that has delivered diminishing returns.

MGM‘s action-thriller The Beekeeper, starring Jason Statham, dropped from third place to seventh place with $3.3 million (down just 4%), as it fell just short of $60 million by Sunday but surpassing that amount with the $3.9 million it made over the four-day holiday weekend.

Sony’s hit rom-com, Anyone But You, took eighth place with $2.4 million three-day and a projected $2.8 million four-day weekend. It has grossed $84.7 million since opening before Christmas Day, which is fantastic for a romantic comedy, on par with some of Sandra Bullock‘s holiday releases. Overseas, it added another $7.8 million this weekend to put its international total over $100 million with $104.2 million, an impressive global cume (through Sunday) of $189 million.

Another movie that took a huge hit this weekend was Focus Features‘ Lisa Frankenstein, which dropped from its second place opening last week all the way down to ninth place with just $2 million (down 45%) and $2.4 million including Monday for a terrible ten-day take of just $8 million.

Distributor The Avenue teamed up with Variance Films for the release of the military thriller, Land of Bad, starring Russell CroweLiam HemsworthMilo Ventimiglia, and Luke Hemsworth. The movie didn’t have a huge advertising budget, but The Avenue did get previews out there, as part of Regal Cinema‘s “Mystery Movie Monday” a few weeks back, which helped build word-of-mouth. It brought in $1.8 million for the three-day weekend in 1,120 theaters, enough for tenth place, while it’s projected to make $2.1 million over the four-day weekend. That’s a per-theater average of $1,852 per venue, which was on par with The Chosen.

IFC Films expanded the French foodie drama, The Taste of Things, starring Juliette Binoche, into 505 theaters on Valentine’s Day, allowing it to move into 17th place with $600,658 for the weekend, averaging $1,189 per theater.

Weekend Box Office (Note: Below numbers are only for the three-day weekend)

Rank Entry Distributor Revenue Theater Count Total Revenue
1 Bob Marley: One Love Paramount Pictures $28,600,000 3,539 $45,571,000
2 Madame Web Sony Pictures $15,350,000 4,013 $23,355,000
3 Argylle Universal $4,720,000 3,647 $36,468,000
4 Migration Universal $3,750,000 2,455 $114,828,000
5 Wonka Warner Bros. $3,500,000 2,347 $209,821,000
6 The Chosen: Season 4 Episodes 4-6 Fathom Events $3,443,070 2,228 $4,220,036
7 The Beekeeper Amazon MGM Studios $3,254,000 2,557 $59,896,000
8 Anyone But You Sony Pictures $2,415,000 2,020 $84,712,000
9 Lisa Frankenstein Focus Features $2,030,000 3,143 $7,664,000
10 Land of Bad The Avenue Entertainment $1,800,000 1,120 $1,800,000
Edward Douglas
Edward Douglas
Edward Douglas has written about movies for print and the internet for over 20 years, specializing in box office analysis, reviews, and interviews. Currently, he writes features for Below the Line and Above the Line, acting as Associate Editor for the former and Interim Editor for the latter.
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