BO Report: ‘Bob Marley: One Love’ outpaces ‘Madame Web’

Kingsley Ben-Adir as Bob Marley in 'Bob Marley: One Love' from Paramount Pictures.

While it was always likely Valentine’s Day releases Bob Marley: One Love and Spider-Man spin-off Madame Web would lead the box office last weekend, the race between the two films for no. 1 was far tighter here than in the US.

One Love was still the victor, with Paramount launching the film on 421 screens for $2 million, or $3 million once its Wednesday start – the second biggest opening day for a music biopic ever behind Bohemian Rhapsody – is added.

Meanwhile, the critically beleaguered Madame Web, rated just 13 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes, took home $1.7 million for Sony from 397 screens, or $2.4 million with Wednesday.

Stateside, where it is President’s Day weekend, One Love is tracking towards a six-day result of $US51 million, while Madame Web is due to post $US26 million.

As Wallis Cinemas head of programming David Simpson puts it to IF: “We’d anticipated Madame Web tanking however it wasn’t a total catastrophe.”

However, the Marvel title didn’t perform for every exhibitor, with Majestic Cinemas CEO Kieren Dell noting the results for Madame Web for his regional NSW and Queensland circuit were poor relative to the strong performance of One Love.

Bob Marley opened really well for us, and really suited our demographics, but Madame Web was a long way behind for us, 2.5 times less than Bob Marley, so we were more in line with the difference in the US,” he tells IF.

Sydney’s Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace had the best opening day result in Australia for One Love, thanks to a Valentine’s Day event it held with a live Marley tribute before the movie.

“While the rest of the weekend was slower, it was still our top film,” GM Alex Temesvari tells IF.

Village Entertainment head of content Geoff Chard notes that audience scores for One Love are very good, sitting at 93 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes, and word-of-mouth strong.

“We are expecting solid repeat business and good holds on the film, especially with few titles releasing this week prior to Dune: Part Two the following week,” he tells IF.

Australia is the third best international market for One Love after the UK and France, and tied for fourth best for Madame Web with Germany after the UK, Mexico and France.

‘Madame Web’. (Photo courtesy Courtesy of Sony Pictures, © 2024 CTMG, Inc. All Rights Reserved)

The two films helped lift the top 20 titles by 18 per cent on the previous weekend to $8.2 million, according to Numero data.

In just two official weekends of release, Roadshow’s Force of Nature: The Dry 2 has already outpaced every Australian film released at the box office last year, with its second weekend result of $958,922 pushing the film to $5.1 million.

Simpson notes it was “another healthy weekend” for the sequel, which has lofty expectations upon it given 2021’s The Dry finished at $20 million. However, as several exhibitors pointed out last week, comparisons with the original are a little difficult, given that film opened during the summer holidays and when there was reduced US product in the market due to COVID, allowing it greater space to build strong word-of-mouth.

Force of Nature certainly isn’t holding up the way The Dry did but continues to pull respectable grosses,” says Temesvari. “I’m hopeful the audience keeps coming out consistently for it over the coming weeks.”

AppleTV+ spy actioner Argylle, distributed by Universal, has hit $5.3 million after three weekends, having pocketed an additional $668,669.

Both Sony’s Anyone But You and Warner Bros.‘ Wonka continue to show incredible box office staying power. The Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell rom-com dropped just 26 per cent in its eighth weekend to $547,341, advancing to $21.5 million, while the Timothee Chalamet musical dipped by a mere 11 per cent to $326,266 in its 10th frame, advancing to $38.5 million. Worldwide, Wonka has reached $US600 million, a result just six films made in 2023. Australia is the leading international market for Anyone But You, and the fourth for Wonka.

Roadshow actioner The Beekeeper drew $232,376 in its sixth weekend, moving to $7.6 million.

A second weekend boost saw Chinese film Pegasus 2 enter the top 10, up 5 per cent with $182,066 from just 29 screens. By screen average, the rally driving drama was the best performer in the top 20, at $6,278. Distributed by Niu Vision Media, overall receipts stand at $486,960.

Universal animation Migration is another holiday title still hanging around, with an eight frame result $179,033 moving the film to $15.7 million.

Rounding out the top 10 was once again Peppa’s Cinema Party, a special set of 10-episodes of Peppa Pig from Trafalgar Releasing for the cartoon’s 20th anniversary. It drew $167,223 to advance to $476,456.