Paramount’s musical biopic Bob Marley: One Love and Sony/Marvel’s Madame Web are expected to provide more pulse to what’s been a very dormant 2024 box office that to date is 9% behind last year.
Bob Marley: One Love is expected to lead over the six-day February 14-19 holiday frame — Wednesday, Valentine’s Day through Monday, President’s Day — with $27 million-$33 million; the pic is strong with Black and Hispanic audiences as well as older adults. The comps here are Sony’s The Woman King ($19M) and Paramount Elton John biopic Rocketman ($25.7M 3-day). Reinaldo Marcus Green directs Kingsley Ben-Adir as the legendary reggae songsmith, whose life was cut short at 36 due to cancer.
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Paramount is coming off of the first global screening of Bob Marley: One Love in Kingston, Jamaica, Marley’s hometown. The Marley family and stars of the movie celebrated with local fans and reunited with the local cast, including a standing ovation for Rita Marley at the Carib 5 Theatre on Tuesday.
Meanwhile the Dakota Johnson- and Sydney Sweeney-starring Spider-Man spinoff Madame Web is eyeing $25M over six days, with the movie tracking with those under 35. The movie is also solid with diverse audiences.
The S.J. Clarkson-directed movie sees Johnson playing Cassandra Webb, a paramedic in Manhattan who develops the power to see the future.
Why so low these early projections for a four-day holiday weekend? Last year, Disney/Marvel’s Ant Man and the Wasp: Quantumania pulled in $120.3M over the four-day holiday, and the industry deemed that a lackluster result in the end for a Marvel movie (pic’s final domestic was $214.5M). The answer is simple: We’re in a wonky marketplace, dummy. There’s not a lot of competition, there’s not a lot of product, so in such instances projections are conservative. Better to bet low and hope for high.
That said, it’s not often you see a musical biopic having a bit of an edge over a Marvel movie.
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