Box-Office Preview: 'Bohemian Rhapsody' to Rock Past 'Nutcracker,' 'Nobody's Fool' With $35M-Plus
'Mr. Robot's' Rami Malek stars as the iconic Freddie Mercury in the Queen biopic.
Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody is expected to rock the North American box office this weekend with a debut in the $35 million to $40 million range, easily enough to beat fellow new offerings The Nutcracker and the Four Realms and Tyler Perry's first R-rated comedy, Nobody's Fool.
Bohemian Rhapsody's win would mark a victory for 20th Century Fox as it prepares to disappear as a stand-alone Hollywood studio and be absorbed by Disney, home of the live-action Nutcracker. Bohemian Rhapsody cost roughly $55 million to produce before marketing, compared to a production budget north of $120 million for Nutcracker.
The Christmas-themed Nutcracker, an adaptation of the iconic ballet and short story about a girl whose nutcracker doll comes to life, is tracking to open in the low- to mid-$20 million range in what looks to be a rare miss for Disney.
Lasse Hallstrom directed the pic, although Joe Johnston was brought aboard to oversee major reshoots late last year (Johnston shares a directing credit). Keira Knightley, Mackenzie Foy, Eugenio Derbez, Matthew Macfadyen, Morgan Freeman and Helen Mirren star. American Ballet Theater ballerina Misty Copeland makes her big-screen debut in the family-friendly movie.
Bohemian Rhapsody, chronicling the rise of the iconic rock band Queen, was even more of a drama queen behind the scenes. Toward the end of production, helmer Bryan Singer was fired. Singer, who retains sole directing credit, was replaced by Dexter Fletcher. New Regency co-financed the film.
Lucy Boynton, Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy, Joseph Mazzello, Aidan Gillen, Tom Hollander, Allen Leech and Mike Myers co-star in Bohemian Rhapsody, which launched to a huge $12.5 million in the U.K. last weekend to mark one of the biggest openings of the year in England, as well as one of the top showings in recent memory for a non-franchise title.
The film's U.K. opening bodes well for its chances in the U.S.
From Paramount, Nobody's Fool stars Tiffany Haddish as a recent parolee who tries to help her sister seek revenge on the man who bilked her. Tika Sumpter, Omari Hardwick, Mehcad Brooks, Amber Riley and Whoopi Goldberg co-star in the $19 million comedy, which is tracking to open in the $15 million-plus range.
The weekend box office hopes to continue a boom in ticket sales year to date. As 2018 hits the final two-month stretch, domestic revenue year to date is running 11 percent ahead of the same period last year, prompting many to predict that the year will finish with a record $12 billion or more.
Domestic revenue in the past 12 months has already hit $12 billion, a first for any 12-month period, according to comScore. "This is what could be described," says comScore's Paul Dergarabedian, "as a unicorn of a year at the multiplex."