One Love’ To Beat ‘Madame Web’ In Opening Week


Paramount’s musical biopic Bob Marley: One Love will tower over Sony/Marvel’s Madame Web with an expected gross of $30 million-$35 million compared to the Marvel pic’s $20M-$25M over the six-day Valentine’s Day-Presidents Day stretch.

While those figures haven’t changed much since they arrived on tracking, doesn’t that seem a bit anticlimactic for a Presidents Day stretch? I mean, Disney/Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania did $120.3M in its four-day opening a year ago, and many poured cold water on that result. Get with it: Who wouldn’t want that now?

“In a trough of non-moviegoing, it’s hard to gin it up again, unless you have a franchise-type movie, which Dune: Part Two is at the start of March,” observed one razor-sharp rival motion picture exec about the dual Hollywood strikes’ impact on the 2024 theatrical schedule.

Bob Marley: One Love is definitely solid with multicultural audiences, but also in first choice as it’s jamming with older women, older men and younger females. Paramount has a majority of PLFs for this $70M PG-13 feature production, directed by King Richard‘s Reinaldo Marcus Green and starring Kingsley Ben-Adir in the title role. Overall theater count is 3,500 theaters.

Critics on Rotten Tomatoes stand at 37% Rotten, which is lower than Paramount’s 2019 Elton John biopic Rocketman which fired up 89% Certified Fresh. Bob Marley: One Love also hits 47 international markets this week including Australia, Benelux, Brazil, France, Germany, Mexico, Scandinavia, Spain and the UK. Italy will go on February 22, South Korea on March 14 and Japan on May 10.

For most exhibitors, we understand Bob Marley: One Love is outselling Madame Web 2-to-1 in advance ticket sales.

Madame Web has all the Imax screens and some PLFs in its 4,000-theater count. Pic is trending with younger females and younger males. Sony has pivoted in its spots of late to stress the thriller aspect of the feature instead of any connection to the Spider-Man universe; there is concern that fanboys are anti-female superhero movies since The Marvels registered the lowest opening for Disney/Marvel Studios at $46.1M stateside, $84.5M domestic final and $206M global. No reviews yet for Madame Web. The world premiere is tonight in Westwood.

Whatever Madame Web lacks, it makes up for in talent with Dakota Johnson, who has been queen of the box office over Valentine’s Day/Presidents Day before with Fifty Shades of Grey, and Sydney “Bringing Back the Rom-Com” Sweeney, hot off Sony’s cash cow Anyone But You which is poised to ultimately slam-dunk $200M worldwide. Madame Web cost $80M before P&A. The Spider-Women feature was co-written by Claire Parker, Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless; the latter duo penned Sony/Marvel’s Morbius ($39M domestic opening, $73.8M domestic final, $167.4M WW).

Both Bob Marley: One Love and Madame Web will be opening up cold (sans Tuesday night previews) on Valentine’s Day, a lucrative day for moviegoing.

We’ll update you when we get more on overseas.


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