'Bohemian Rhapsody' Rocks the Box Office with $50 Million Debut
by Brad Brevet
November 4, 2018
For the first time since early February the top three films at the weekend box office were all new releases and leading the way was Fox's Bohemian Rhapsody with a $50 million, chart-topping performance, well above expectations. Disney's The Nutcracker and the Four Realms finished at the lower end of industry estimates in second place, followed Paramount's release of Nobody's Fool. That said, the weekend isn't all about new releases as the holdovers had a solid weekend of their own, with A Star is Born, Venom and Smallfoot all dipping less than 27% in what amounts to their fifth and sixth weekends respectively, helping aid a continually healthy 2018 box office performance overall.
At the top of the charts, Fox's Bohemian Rhapsody endured word of a troubled production as the film that was eight years in the making topped the domestic box office with a $50 million debut from 4,000 locations. On top of that, the film's "A" CinemaScore is a great sign looking ahead as there is little in the way of direct competition over the next month or so. The film played to an audience that was 51% female with 78% of the crowd coming in aged 25 years or older.
Internationally, after getting off to an early start in the UK last weekend, Bohemian Rhapsody expanded to 64 total overseas markets this weekend and delivered an estimated $72.5 million for a global cume topping $141 million. The UK leads the way with a gross that now totals over $26.5 million while other highlights include a $7.7 million debut in France followed by Mexico ($5.8m), Germany ($5.7m), South Korea ($5.7m). Australia ($5.4m), Spain ($4.8m) and the Netherlands ($1.6m). The film will add another 14 markets next weekend, including Japan.
Disney's The Nutcracker and the Four Realms was looking for an opening in the low-to-mid twenty millions this weekend and it landed in the lower end of that range with an estimated $20 million finish. Not helping matters are critical reviews, which resulted in a score of 38 on Metacritic, and a "B+" CinemaScore, which is merely satisfactory for a film of this sort not to mention a dismal 41% audience score on RottenTomatoes.
The Nutcracker also debuted in 45 international markets this weekend, bringing in an estimated $38.5 million for a $58.5 million global debut. Leading the way was a $12 million opening in China followed by Italy ($5.5m), Germany ($2.7m), Mexico ($2.3m), Spain ($2.2m), UK ($2.1m) and Brazil ($1.7m). The film will add releases in Australia, France and Japan at the end of the month, with openings in Korea and Russia set for early December.
Finishing in third is Paramount's Nobody's Fool with an estimated $14 million. The R-rated Tyler Perry comedy stars Tiffany Haddish and was well-received by opening day audiences, receiving an "A-" CinemaScore. The film played to an audience that was 61% female with 77% of the audience aged 18-44. Looking ahead, it's reasonable to expect a domestic run around $35 million or so, if not a bit higher.
In fourth we find a performance that may be just as impressive as Bohemian Rhapsody's opening in the fifth weekend hold for Warner Bros.'s A Star is Born. The drama dipped just 21% for an estimated $11.1 million three-day, pushing its domestic cume over $165 million. It will be incredibly interesting to see how well these two music-driven dramas coexist over the coming weeks as this weekend clearly indicates there is more than enough audience for both. One thing working in their favor is the difference in tone between the two films. The PG-13-rated Bohemian Rhapsody could have gone the R-rated route, which might have taken a huge chunk out of its box office potential, especially considering A Star is Born pretty much owns that segment of the audience right now.
Internationally, A Star is Born also continued its strong global performance this weekend, adding another $13.9 million this weekend for an international running cume totaling $128.3 million and a global tally just shy of $295 million.
Rounding out the top five is Universal's Halloween, which dropped a bit more than expected as it entered its third week in release, delivering an estimated $11 million three-day for a domestic cume that now tops $150 million. Including an additional $18.3 million internationally this weekend, the film's worldwide cume now totals just shy of $230 million.
Just outside the top five, it's worth mentioning Venom's strong fifth weekend hold, dropping just 26.3% for an estimated $7.85 million weekend and a domestic cume of $198.6 million as it will cross the $200 million mark later this week. Added to that, the film grosses an estimated $15.6 million internationally this weekend for a global cume that now stands at $541.5 million with a release in China set for next weekend.
Outside the top ten, Amazon Studios expanded the release of Beautiful Boy into 540 theaters (+348) and grossed an estimated $1.4 million, pushing the film's domestic cume to $3.2 million. The studio currently anticipates expanding Beautiful Boy a bit further into approximately 300 additional locations next weekend.
Amazon also expanded the reach of Suspiria into 311 theaters (+309) this weekend, leading to an estimated $964,722 weekend and a domestic cume totaling $1.2 million as it enters its second weekend in release. The film isn't expected to expand any further next weekend, calling into question why Amazon didn't begin Suspiria's limited release a week earlier and go wider in advance of Halloween, if not on Halloween night, in an attempt to take advantage of the holiday timeframe. The film was always going to largely appeal to a niche audience, but a wider release over the holiday could have helped generate some additional word of mouth.
In limited release this weekend, Focus Features's Boy Erased brought in an estimated $220,000 from just five locations for a chart-topping $44,000 per theater average. The Joel Edgerton-directed feature will expand its reach next weekend into 75 theaters in 25 markets. Additionally, Sony Classics released Maria by Callas into 16 theaters for an estimated $152,633 ($9,540 PTA); Aviron's A Private War debuted in four locations with an estimated $72,000 ($18,000 PTA); Neon's release of Bodied delivered $50,528 from 14 theaters ($3,609 PTA); and Art of Sport's In Search of Greatness debuted in 16 locations with an estimated $35,000 ($2,188 PTA).
On a final note, Disney's Incredibles 2 added another $1.9 million globally this weekend, pushing the film's worldwide gross to $1.238 billion, making it the 15th largest global release of all-time.
Next weekend sees the release of Universal and Illumination's Dr. Seuss' The Grinch in over 4,000 locations along with Sony's second attempt at the Dragon Tattoo series with The Girl in the Spider's Web in ~3,000 theaters, and Paramount's well-reviewed Overlord debuting in approximately 2,500 locations.
You can check out all of this weekend's estimated results right here and we'll be updating our charts with weekend actuals on Monday afternoon.
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