New Bob Marley movie gets big box office love as Madame Web tanks

Los Angeles, California - Paramount's new musical biopic Bob Marley: One Love enjoyed the adoration of North American moviegoers this weekend, surprisingly beating out Madame Web and topping the box office with estimated earnings of $27.7 million, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations reported.

Bob Marley: One Love takes a look at the life of legendary reggae musician Bob Marley.
Bob Marley: One Love takes a look at the life of legendary reggae musician Bob Marley.  © IMAGO/Landmark Media

"This is an excellent opening for a musical biography," analyst David A. Gross said, adding that the movie was doing much better with audiences than with critics.

British actor Kingsley Ben-Adir, who plays the iconic reggae singer in the story of his rapid rise and too-soon death, previously drew attention for his portrayal of Malcolm X in One Night in Miami.

Lashana Lynch plays Rita Marley, and son Ziggy Marley is one of the film's producers.

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Another new release, Sony/Marvel superhero thriller Madame Web, placed second for the Friday-through-Sunday period, at $15.2 million.

Analysts called that a disappointing opening, given the film's $80 million production cost and opening mid-week. And its meager 13% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes is the lowest average score on the review site of any superhero film in almost a decade.

Gone are the days, said Gross, of Franchise Entertainment Research, when "you could pluck a character out of a popular superhero movie and make a hit film about them."

Dakota Johnson plays the titular Madame Web – a paramedic with psychic talents – in this fourth film in Sony's Spider-Man Universe series.

What were the top movies at the box office this week?

Superhero pic Madame Web, starring Dakota Johnson (l.) and Sydney Sweeney, had a disappointing opening weekend at the box office.
Superhero pic Madame Web, starring Dakota Johnson (l.) and Sydney Sweeney, had a disappointing opening weekend at the box office.  © imago/Everett Collection

Dropping to third from last weekend's top spot was Universal's spy thriller Argylle, at $4.7 million. It has now taken in $36.4 million domestically – "tragic" figures for a film with a $200 million budget, according to Variety.

In fourth, flying steady in its fifth weekend out, was Universal's family-friendly animation Migration, at $3.8 million.

And in fifth was another chapter of Fathom Events' story of the life of Jesus Christ, The Chosen: S4, EP 4-6. It earned $3.4 million.

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Rounding out the top 10 were:

  • Wonka ($3.4 million)
  • The Beekeeper ($3.3 million)
  • Anyone But You ($2.4 million)
  • Lisa Frankenstein ($2 million)
  • Land of Bad ($1.8 million)

Warner Bros.' musical Wonka finally dropped out of the top five in its 10th week out, but did manage to hit the $600 million mark globally.

Cover photo: IMAGO/Landmark Media

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