It was a weekend defined by an impressive win and two stunning defeats at the box office.
Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody hit all the right notes with moviegoers, rocking to a stellar $50 million debut in North American theaters.
The awards season contender — starring Rami Malek as the group’s legendary frontman Freddie Mercury — brought in larger than expected crowds at 4,000 theaters, for a per screen average of $12,500.
The film’s performance was all the more impressive considering it overcame widely-reported production problems, including the firing of director Bryan Singer, and lukewarm reviews from critics.
“Bohemian Rhapsody was always going to be a fan and not critic driven film,” comScore Sr. Media Analyst Paul Dergarabedian told Urban Hollywood 411.
“The sheer passion that audiences have around the world for Freddie Mercury and the music of Queen was manifested in this much better than expected debut and anchored by the perfection of Rami Malek’s indelible performance,” Dergarabedian added.
The 20th Century Fox release logged the second best opening ever for a music biopic behind N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton, which opened with $60 million in 2015.
The news wasn’t nearly as good for Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms or Nobody’s Fool.
The Nutcracker, which Variety reported cost $125 million to make, brought in a disappointing $20 million this weekend.
The family-friendly adventure starring Mackenzie Foy, Morgan Freeman, Keira Knightley, Helen Mirren and ballerina Misty Copeland opened in second place after ringing up a per theater average of $5,311 from 3,766 locations.
Also making a forgettable entrance was Tyler Perry’s Nobody’s Fool.
The modestly budgeted comedy opened in third place with $14 million, one of the lowest starts of Perry’s career.
The film stars Tiffany Haddish as a woman released from prison who reunites with her sister played by Tika Sumpter.
Rounding out the top five, A Star is Born took fourth place with $11.1 million, and Halloween slipped to fifth with $11 million.