‘Bob Marley: One Love’ Dances Away With Huge $51 Million Debut at Holiday Box Office

Kinglsey Ben-Adir as “Bob Marley” in Bob Marley: One Love (Credit: Paramount Pictures)

Bob Marley: One Love is “Jamming” at the box office — bringing in big crowds and shattering expectations.

The biopic starring Kingsley Ben-Adir as late reggae legend Bob Marley debuted with an estimated $27.7 million over the traditional three-day weekend.

The Paramount Pictures release opened with a record $14 million on Wednesday, which was Valentine’s Day. The film is expected to earn $51 million domestically between Wednesday and President’s Day on Monday, according to box office tracking company Comscore.

The film was also popular abroad, collecting $29 million from 47 territories this weekend, for a global opening of $80 million. That’s more than the movie’s reported $70 million production budget.

Related Story: ‘One Love’ Filmed in Places That ‘Were Special’ to Bob Marley, Production Team Says

The drama from director Reinaldo Marcus Green (King Richard) celebrates Marley’s life, music, and activism.

Analysts had expected the film to open in the $30 million to $35 million range between Valentine’s Day and Presidents’ Day. Instead, it easily surpassed projections.

The diverse audience was 37 percent Caucasian, 31 percent Black, 25 percent Hispanic, and 3 percent Asian and other, according to box office firm EntTelligence.

Ticket buyers liked what they saw, giving the movie an “A” CinemaScore. Critics disagreed, handing the film a 43 percent score out of 100 on Rotten Tomatoes.

The authorized biopic was co-produced by Marley’s children Ziggy and Cedella, and his wife Rita. Executive producers included Brad Pitt, Richard Hewitt, Orly Marley, and Matt Solodky.

The movie was filmed in Bob Marley’s homeland of Jamaica.

At the red carpet premiere in Kingston, Jamaica, on Jan. 23, Kingsley Ben-Adir said he turned to the music icon’s children and friends for advice on bringing authenticity to the role.

“It was a communal thing,” the actor explained. “I’ve never been part of a project where the creation of something had to do with everyone… and I had to ask a lot of questions because I was with Jamaicans every day, and [asked] how’d Bob say this? How’d Bob say that?”

Additional cast members include James Norton, Tosin Cole, Umi Myers, Anthony Welsh, Nia Ashi, Aston Barrett Jr., Anna-Sharé Blake, Gawaine “J-Summa” Campbell, and Naomi Cowan.

Elsewhere at the domestic box office this weekend, Sony and Marvel’s Madame Web starring Dakota Johnson sputtered, opening with just $15.1 million this weekend. From Valentine’s Day to President’s Day, the film is expected to earn $25.8 million, Comscore reported.

Argylle was third this weekend with $4.7 million in its third week of release.

Migration took fourth place with $3.7 million in its ninth weekened, it was followed by The Chosen: Season 4, Episodes 4-6, with $3.4 million.