BOX OFFICE: Lady Who? Killer Queen Makes for a “Bohemian Rhapsody” blockbuster

boh3As Wayne might say to Garth…”Whooaaaa.” And “Bu-whaaaa?”

“Bohemian Rhapsody,” riding the best Thursday night “preview” sales in recent musical history and staggering weekend pre-sales, is set to clear $50 million on its opening outing.

The movie that blew up the British box office first, is opening 15-20% better than the hyped to hell and back “A Star is Born.”

What do we do in the stadiums, kids? After singing along to “We will ROCK you?” We chant “OVER-RATED” at the other um, musical.

“Bohemian Rhapsody” had been tracked to a $38 million opening. Or $40, as was saying. Now Deadline is projecting a $49 or so bow and as they tend to lowball Saturday numbers and over-shoot on Sunday, I’m saying $50 is what we will see.

The film earned mixed reviews. It was a years-in-the-making “troubled” production, changing stars and directors, and too many critics reviewed it accordingly. It’s not the R-rated version with more explicit depictions of Freddie Mercury’s not-quite-closeted lifestyle. It’s not heavy into his drug use. Both turn up, but it’s a musical bio-pic about an iconic band, beloved by generations. Fox wanted a PG-13 movie and that’s the one I reviewed. It’s fun.

Director Bryan Singer is a notorious #MeToo violator. It’s too conventional. But it’s delightful Queen comfort food and the dorks too up their own bums to see that can suck it. “Rhapsody,” riding Rami Malek’s insanely spot-on recreation of Freddie, is rhapsodic.

Disney’s “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” is on track to hit its expected $20 million opening, which is as underwhelming as this singularly underwhelming as a cinematic experience. Also a troubled production (rewrites after completion, a month of re-shoots), it’s never going to break even in the US but could be in the black abroad.

Tiffany Haddish’s first real star vehicle (She’s the star in the ads, second banana in the movie), “Nobody’s Fool,” is heading towards $13.8, falling below its meet $14-15 projections. It’s not on her. Tyler Perry has never seemed more inept at the keyboard or behind the camera. 

The grossly-over-rated “Halloween” reboot finally FINALLY took a DIVE and will barely clear $10 million this weekend. It’s still earned over $150 million, or will have by midnight Sunday.

Check out Deadline’s chart and note “The Hate U Give” is cruising along, still in the top ten. No way “Bohemian” will have the legs of the Lady Gaga/”Star is Born,” which will reach $165 by Sunday.



About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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