'Bohemian Rhapsody' Is a Hit at Box Office Despite Mediocre Reviews, 'Nutcracker' Flops
20th Century Fox/Walt Disney Pictures/Laurie Sparham

The Queen biopic exceeds expectations with $50 million in its opening weekend, while Disney's 'The Nutcracker and the Four Realms' has lackluster debut.

AceShowbiz - Queen biopic "Bohemian Rhapsody" is a new king at North American box office. The 20th Century Fox movie easily dethroned "Halloween (2018)" from the chart's top spot with an estimated $50 million from ticket sales in the U.S. and Canada alone in its opening weekend.

Boosted by Rami Malek's widely praised performance as the rock band frontman Freddie Mercury, the movie surpassed expectations of $35-40 million opening gross despite mediocre reviews. It posted the second biggest opening for a music biopic ever, behind "Straight Outta Compton" about hip hop group N.W.A, which opened to $60.2 million in 2015.

Overseas, "Bohemian Rhapsody" has already collected $72.5 million for a current worldwide total of $141.7 million against its budget of $52 million. It's a huge win for the movie, which faced production issues when director Bryan Singer exited midway through the shooting and was replaced by Dexter Fletcher.

"It really is a celebration of Queen and their music, and I think we did a really good job of letting people know that that's what this is," said Chris Aronson, distribution chief for Fox. It is reflected with an A grade from audiences on CinemaScore, though critics were less impressed with the movie.

On the other hand, Disney's big-budget flick "The Nutcracker and the Four Realms" failed to soar high despite its strong cast which includes Keira Knightley, Morgan Freeman and Helen Mirren. Costing $125 million to make, the fantasy drama brought in an estimated $20 million in its opening weekend.

The movie led by Mackenzie Foy generated lackluster reviews from critics, resulting in an approval rating of 34% based on 129 reviews, with an average rating of 5/10. It also received B+ from audiences on CinemaScore.

Cathleen Taff, head of theatrical distribution for Disney, acknowledges this disappointing performance as saying, "We were hoping for a stronger start, but we do think it's a film that people will find as we head into the holidays." "Nutcracker" had a better start overseas, bagging $38.5 million from 45 international markets.

Another newcomer, "Nobody's Fool" opened at No. 3 with approximately $14 million. The first R-rated comedy from Tyler Perry and starring Tiffany Haddish, it is far behind another Haddish-starrer "Night School", which debuted to $27 million in late September.

"A Star Is Born" was pushed from No. 2 to No. 4 with an estimated $11.1 million, only dropping 20% percent from last week. Meanwhile, last week's champion "Halloween" plunged to No. 5 with additional $11 million for a current domestic total of $150 million.

Top Ten Movies at Weekend Box Office for Nov. 02-04:
  1. "Bohemian Rhapsody" - $50 million
  2. "The Nutcracker and the Four Realms" - $20 million
  3. "Nobody's Fool" - $14 million
  4. "A Star Is Born" - $11.1 million
  5. "Halloween (2018)" - $11 million
  6. "Venom (2018)" - $7.8 million
  7. "Smallfoot" - $3.8 million
  8. "Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween" - $3.7 million
  9. "Hunter Killer" - $3.5 million
  10. "The Hate U Give" - $3.4 million

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