‘Bob Marley: One Love’ Could Be the First $100 Million Movie of 2024. ‘Madame Web’ Will Be Lucky to Gross Half of That

Liem Soeng

‘Bob Marley: One Love’ Could Be the First 0 Million Movie of 2024. ‘Madame Web’ Will Be Lucky to Gross Half of That

Four years of writing about domestic box office during “a challenging period” makes it tempting to go with the glass half-full view (and even more). This weekend, Paramount’s “Bob Marley: One Love” provides the necessary evidence with an estimated $49 million gross by Monday, six days into its Valentine’s Day opening run. Its three-day total is about $27.7 million.

That’s a terrific performance against a $70 million production cost, and it’s an original biopic. Despite a depressed marketplace, there’s an audience for mainstream movies that can make a profit. “Bob Marley” showed a strong cross-demographic draw, female slightly ahead of male, among all ages and ethnic groups. Reviews were not good (43 Metacritic), but it has an A Cinemascore and two weeks with little competition. It could become the first domestic $100-million grossing film of 2024.

There’s also compelling evidence for a glass half empty (or worse). The estimate for this three-day weekend is around $77 million. That’s 47 percent lower than this holiday Friday to Sunday last year as year-to-date now trails 2023 by about 15 percent.

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Dakota Johnson and Sydney Sweeney in “Madame Web” screenshot/Sony

And then there’s “Madame Web” (Sony), a low-budget superhero movie ($80 million qualifies as such) that opened to $23 million for its first five days. Like the more-expensive “Argylle” (Amazon bought the project for $200 million, with Universal releasing theatrically) it will likely see a sub-$50 million total domestic haul.

Seven weekends into 2024, only one weekend has grossed over $100 million. Last year was hardly stellar, but at this point three weekends had crossed that threshold. In 2020, just before Covid hit, there were five; the previous year, six (both with significantly lower ticket prices).

Expect February to be off by about 30 percent from last year, and the decline against 2023 will near 20 percent. (One factor: This week last year saw the opening of “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” open to $106 million.)

It’s great to see individual non-franchise titles do well (see: “The Beekeeper” and Paramount’s own “Mean Girls”). But for business to be minimally viable, it’s going to take strong showings for sequels like “Dune: Part 2” (Warner Bros.), “Kung Fu Panda 4” (Universal), and more next month.

“Madame Web,” a “Spider-Man” Marvel offshoot, had an awful C+ Cinemascore, horrible reviews, and has likely seen about half its gross. International is around $26 million (Sony reports it is about 22 percent ahead of “Blue Beetle,” hardly a ringing endorsement).

Also new in the top 10 is the second set of three episodes from “The Chosen: Season 4” (Fathom), #5 for three days with $3.4 million, down from $5.9 million for the first three two weekends back. “Land of Bad” (Fathom), a war rescue film from Avenue placed #10 with $1.8 million. The latter stars Russell Crowe and two Hemsworth brothers. Both films opened to just over 1,000 theaters.

Holdovers helped this weekend, as did a holiday-boosted Sunday. Strongest and with impressive improvements were #4 “Migration” (Universal), up 28 percent, and #6 “Wonka” (WB), up 11 percent. (“Wonka” has now passed $600 million worldwide).

Both titles still draw family audiences, which lack for new similar offerings. Of note — both films are out on PVOD.

Multiple specialized offerings, many fresh, played wider than usual this week. As usual, this year’s collection of Oscar-nominated shorts (Magnolia handling for ShortsTV) showed interest, with $765,000 in 375 theaters. That’s similar to last year.

“The Taste of Things“IFC

From there it gets curious. After a terrific ($43,000 PTA) platform opening last weekend, IFC took its French crowdpleaser “The Taste of Things” out to 505 theaters last Wednesday. With $600,000 for the three-day weekend, and $1.15 million through 10 days, it remains to be seen whether this maximized the film’s potential. It will be determined by sustained interest in the core theaters that maintain runs (likely fewer than half).

Sony Pictures Classics’ reissue of “Amelie” (Miramax’s initial release took in over $33 million adjusted, a phenomenal subtitled hit) also opened Wednesday with an unusually wide release. It managed $326,000 in 216 theaters. Again, the success of the go-early nationwide plan is to be determined.

More conventionally, Neon added 29 theaters (total 34) for Wim Wenders’ “Perfect Days.” It grossed $236,000 for a healthy, nearly $7,000 per-theater average.

Among other Oscar-contending feature titles, “American Fiction” (Amazon MGM) has reached $18.9 million, “Poor Things” (Searchlight) $31.8 million, “Zone of Interest” (A24) $6.75 million, and “The Holdovers” (Focus) $20 million.

The Top 10 (3 day weekend)

1. Bob Marley: One Love (Paramount) NEW – Cinemascore: A; Metacritic: 43; Est. budget: $70 million

$27,700,000 in 3,539 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $7,827; Cumulative: $45,571,000

2. Madame Web (Sony) NEW – Cinemascore: C+; Metacritic: 27; Est. budget: $80 million

$15,150,000 in 4,013 theaters; PTA: $3,775; Cumulative: $23,355,000

3. Argylle (Universal) Week 3; Last weekend #1

$4,720,000 (-24%) in 3,647 (+42) theaters; PTA: $1,294; Cumulative: $36,468,000

4. Migration (Universal) Week 9; Last weekend #6; also on PVOD

$3,750,000 (+28%) in 2,455 (-229) theaters; PTA: $1,527; Cumulative: $114,828,000

5. The Chosen: Season 4 Episodes 4-6 (Fathom) NEW

$3,443,000 in 1,020 theaters; PTA: $1,545; Cumulative: $4,220,000

6. Wonka (WB) Week 10; Last weekend #5; also on PVOD

$3,400,000 (+11%) in 2,302 (-462) theaters; PTA: $1,499; Cumulative: $209,821,000

7. The Beekeeper (MGM Amazon) Week 6 – Last weekend #3; also on PVOD

$3,253,000 (-4%) in 2,557 (-500) theaters; PTA: $1,273; Cumulative: $59,896,000

8. Anyone but You (Sony) Week 9; Last weekend #7

$2,415,000 (-9%) in 2,020 (-785) theaters; PTA: $1,213; Cumulative: $84,712,000

9. Lisa Frankenstein (Focus) Week 2; Last weekend #2

$ 2,030,000 (-45%) in 3,143 (-1) theaters; PTA: $646; Cumulative: $7,664,000

10. Land of Bad (Variance) NEW – Metacritic: 57

$1,800,000 in 1,048 theaters; PTA: $1,607; Cumulative: $1,800,000

Other specialized and award-contending titles

Films (limited, expansions of limited, as well as awards-oriented releases) are listed by week in release, starting with those opened this week; after the first three weeks, only films with grosses over $5,000 are listed. Metacritic scores and initial film festivals recorded.

2024 Oscar Shorts (Magnolia for Shorts TV) NEW

$765,000 in 375 theaters; PTA: $2,040

God and Country (Oscilloscope) NEW – Festivals include: Santa Barbara 2024

$40,115 in 85 theaters; PTA: $472

The Monk and the Gun (Roadside Attractions) NEW – Metacritic: 74; Festivals include: Telludide, Toronto 2023

$20,190 in 40 theaters; PTA: $504

Amelie (Sony Pictures Classics) REISSUE

$180,621 in 216 theaters; PTA: $836; 5 day cumulative: $325,852

The Taste of Things (IFC) Week 2

$600,658 in 505 (+502) in theaters; PTA: $1,189; Cumulative: $1,160,000

Perfect Days (Neon) NEW – Week 2

$236,000 in 34 (+29) theaters; PTA: $6,941; Cumulative: $475,059

Out of Darkness (Bleecker Street) Week 2

$38,229 in 865 (-32) theaters; PTA: $402; Cumulative: $1,730,000

Ennio (Music Box) Week 2

$5,162 in 3 (+2) theater; PTA: $1,721; Cumulative: $17,222

The Peasants (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 4

$7,668 in 9 (-1) theaters; Cumulative: $53,650

Origin (Neon) Week 5

$113,250 in 127 (-221) theaters; Cumulative: $4,256,000

The Teachers’ Lounge (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 8

$45,374 in 99 (-178) theaters; Cumulative: $496,626

The Iron Claw (A24) Week 9; also on PVOD

$106,419 in 146 (-279) theaters; Cumulative: $34,960,000

All of Us Strangers (Searchlight) Week 9

$60,000 in 50 (-45) theaters; Cumulative: $3,877,000

Freud’s Last Session (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 9

$6,353 in 8 (-5) theaters; Cumulative: $858,650

American Fiction (Amazon MGM) Week 10; also on PVOD

$923,000 in 803 (-659) theaters; Cumulative: $18,892,000

The Zone of Interest (A24) Week 10

$473,535 in 443 (-155) theaters; Cumulative: $6,757,000

Poor Things (Searchlight) Week 11

$873,000 in 680 (-620) theaters; Cumulative: $31,806,000

Anselm (Janus/Sideshow) Week 11

$11,250 in 12 (+1) theaters; Cumulative: $466,621

The Holdovers (Focus) Week 17; also streaming and on VOD

$42,000 in 160 (-102) theaters; Cumulative: $20,004,000

VIA

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