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Bob Marley: One Love Makes $52M in Opening Weekend

The biopic is playing to an ethnically diverse audience; Black moviegoers made up 40 percent of Friday ticket buyers, followed by Latinos (25 percent), Caucasians (23 percent), Asians (5 percent) and Native Americans/Others (7 percent), according to PostTrak. Females made up 56 percent of the audience.

Paramount’s Bob Marley: One Love delivered a huge $50 million-plus domestic opening over the six-day Valentine’s Day-Presidents Day corridor, enough to crush Madame Web‘s $26.2 million start, a record worst for Sony’s superhero adventures.

Monday estimates show One Love raking in $52 million for the six days domestically, up from Sunday’s estimate of $51 million. That includes $34.1 million for the four-day Presidents Day weekend and a record $14 million on Valentine’s Day (rival studios say the decision to go out on sweetheart’s day was a smart choice in building momentum). The movie’s weekend debut is on par with the starts of such musical biopics as Rocketman or Elvis, and did almost double the business it was tracking to do. (Grosses for all films could shift again when final weekend numbers are tallied following the Monday holiday.)

Overseas, One Love earned an impressive $29 million for a global launch north of $80 million against a $70 million budget. The film opened at No. 1 in 13 markets and set new opening day records for a music biopic in the U.K., France and other territories. In Jamaica, the film set the record for the biggest film opening of all time.

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One Love director Reinaldo Marcus Green’s depiction of the iconic Jamaican musician and Rastafarian stars Kingsley Ben-Adir. It chronicles Marley making his 1977 album Exodus and the events of the next several years, including an assassination attempt and his belief that music could heal his nation in its post-colonial era. The movie’s producers include Marley’s children Ziggy and Cedella, and his wife, Rita.

Ziggy Marley said in a statement: “My family and I are honored with the amazing response to Bob Marley: One Love. Like my father’s music, this movie is meant for the people and his message of peace, love and unity is clearly connecting with audiences around the world. We thank the people for embracing this film and in so doing helping to highlight the message of one love.”

The biopic is playing to an ethnically diverse audience; Black moviegoers made up 40 percent of Friday ticket buyers, followed by Latinos (25 percent), Caucasians (23 percent), Asians (5 percent) and Native Americans/Others (7 percent), according to PostTrak. Females made up 56 percent of the audience.

Sony’s latest estimates for Madame Web show the film taking in $26.2 million for the six days — up from Sunday’s estimate of $25.8 million — including a four-day weekend gross of $18 million. Either way, it is the worst start for a Sony film featuring Spider-Man related characters (the Dakota Johnson-starring film is not part of Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe). Madame Web got bashed by critics and audiences alike. Its ranking on Rotten Tomatoes hovers around 13 percent, while moviegoers slapped it with a C+ CinemaScore.

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It fared poorly overseas as well, opening to $25.7 million from 61 markets for a global start of $51.9 million. Major markets yet to open include Japan, South Korea and China.

In past years, a superhero pic would generally be the safe bet to win a marquee holiday weekend domestically, but times have changed as both DC and Marvel Studios regroup after a number of box office setbacks. Now, Sony is facing its own dilemma in regard to the Spider-Man universe of Marvel characters it controls, with titles such as Venom and Morbius. The movie studio, under Tom Rothman’s tutelage, has spent far less on superhero fare than its rivals. Madame Web reportedly cost $80 million to make after production and tax incentives, although sources outside the studio say it cost $115 million or more.

While the Venom movies have been considered a win, Morbius was also something of a bust. That film, released in 2022, opened to $39 million on its way to grossing $167 million. With Madame Web, Sony was proud to offer a female-fronted superhero film; femmes made up 46 percent or so of the audience, according to preliminary polling data.

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