NEW YORK (AP) – The Freddie Mercury biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” shrugged off production troubles and mediocre reviews to debut with an estimated $50 million in weekend ticket sales, well above expectations.
The 20th Century Fox release starring Rami Malek as the Queen frontman has been pegged for closer to $35-40 million in its opening weekend. But audiences were compelled to theaters by the allure of Malek’s widely praised performance and by Queen’s foot-stomping anthems.
Opening in a distant second place was Disney’s lavish, big-budget “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.”
Despite a budget of $125 million, the film debuted with just $20 million. Disney’s disappointment could be mitigated by the fact that it will soon own the studio that bested it, Fox.
The Tiffany Haddish comedy “Nobody’s Fool” opened in third with $14 million.