Could ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Become the Biggest Music Biopic Ever?
The Freddie Mercury movie Bohemian Rhapsody took an estimated $50 million in its opening weekend, sending it to No.8 on the list of the biggest-grossing music biopics of all time and making a No.1 spot possible.
Only 2015’s Straight Outta Compton, exploring the history of the rap group N.W.A, achieved a better opening weekend in terms of music biopics when it took $60.2 million over its first two days. It’s gone on to make $161.2 million in its lifetime and remains the No.1 music biopic to date. Walk the Line, the 2005 story of Johnny Cash, joins Straight Outta Compton in having made more than $100 million, with a total of $119.6 million. No others have achieved that level of success.
It would seem that Bohemian Rhapsody is at least likely to enter the top 5, as it’s currently only $17 million short of that position. To reach third only requires a total of more than $83.5 million. The new movie also opened in more theaters than any other music biopic – at 4,000, more than 1,000 more than second-place Walk the Line, which opened in 2,961 theaters.
To secure the top spot, Bohemian Rhapsody has to earn at least 3.25 times what it made during its opening weekend. Of the Top 10 music biopics, only two have failed to do so – though, notably, Straight Outta Compton is one of them. You can see the Top 10 chart below.
Box Office Mojo reported that the film – which has spurred rumors of star Rami Malek achieving an Oscar nomination – had delivered “well above expectations” and was also the biggest-grossing movie of the weekend.
“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 report noted. “The film played to an audience that was 51 percent female with 78 percent of the crowd coming in aged 25 years or older. Internationally, after getting off to an early start in the U.K. 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.”
Music Biopic Income Chart (Box Office Mojo)
1. Straight Outta Compton (2015) – $60.2m opening; $161.2m total
2. Walk the Line (2005) – $22.3m opening; $119.5m total
3. I Can Only Imagine (2018) – $17.1m opening; $83.5m total
4. Ray (2004) – $20.0m opening; $75.3m total
5. Coal Miner’s Daughter (1980) – $3.4m opening; $67.2m total
6. La Bamba (1987) – $5.7m opening; $54.2, total
7. Amadeus (1984) – $0.5m opening; $52.0m total
8. Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) – $50.0m opening; $50.0, total (estimated)
9. Jersey Boys (2014) – $13.3m opening; $47.0m total
10. All Eyez On Me – $36.4m opening; $45.0m total