'Bohemian Rhapsody' rocks the box office with $50 million debut


A scandal-plagued production and a middling critical reception couldn’t keep Fox’s Bohemian Rhapsody from exceeding studio expectations, to the tune of a chart-topping $50 million. That’s a few healthy steps…. leaps… gallops… ahead of second-place finisher The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, which landed in second place with $20 million. Barring an unusually strong run going forward, Nutcracker is shaping up to be the second consecutive Disney film landing outside their major franchises—Marvel, Star Wars, remakes of Disney classics—to prove a box office disappointment; A Wrinkle in Time, released earlier this year, debuted to an underwhelming $33.1 million before topping out at just over $100 million domestic.

Third place also went to a new release; Paramount’s R-rated comedy Nobody’s Fool, starring Tiffany Haddish and Tika Sumpter, earned $14 million on just under 2,500 screens.

It wasn’t all about the new releases this weekend, however. Fourth-place finisher A Star is Born ($7.8 million), sixth-place finisher Venom ($7.8 million) and seventh-place finisher Smallfoot ($3.8 million) are all holdovers that enjoyed an unusually strong hold from the previous week: around 20% for A Star is Born and Smallfoot and 26% for Venom, which is sitting right on the cusp of a $200 million domestic cume. (All three films, it should be noted, saw a drop in theatre count, which makes their hold all the more impressive.) Rounding out the top five was Universal’s Halloween, which dipped approximately 65% in its third weekend to earn $11 million.

The weekend’s top per-theatre average belonged to awards contender Boy Erased, bowing to $220,000 on five screens for a PTA of $44,000. Also new to theatres in limited release were Maria by Callas ($152,633 on six screens), A Private War ($72,000 on four screens), Bodied ($50,528 on 14 screens) and In Search of Greatness ($35,000 on 16 screens).