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Bohemian Rhapsody rocks US box offices
PROVING again that audiences matter more than critics, Fox's Freddy Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody rocked North American box offices last weekend with a solid US$50 million take, industry tracker Exhibitor Relations reported on Sunday .
The film's unexpectedly strong launch put it well ahead of Disney's new The Nutcracker and the Four Realms at US$20 million, and Paramount's Nobody's Fool with US$14 million in estimated ticket sales for the three-day weekend.
Bohemian Rhapsody, with Egyptian-American actor Rami Malek starring as the charismatic Mercury, thus logged one of the best openings ever for a music biopic.
The movie has received decidedly mixed reviews, however.
Vox.com dismissed it "a crashingly dull movie about . . . one of the least drab humans who ever lived," while the Washington Post called it a "bad movie that works, even when it shouldn't".
But Malek, a Primetime Emmy winner for his role in TV's Mr Robot, has won mostly high praise.
While Fox essentially paid the US$50 million production cost of Bohemian Rhapsody with the film's opening-weekend take, Disney was not faring as well with Nutcracker which cost US$125 million to make.
The studio hopes the classic Christmas tale will hold on through the holidays, Variety said.
But like Bohemian Rhapsody, the Keira Knightley film got some less-than-glowing reviews. "Tchaikovsky is rolling in his grave," said Rolling Stone.
Nor did Nobody's Fool, Tyler Perry's first R-rated comedy, do much better on the critic's couch, with HollywoodReporter.com deploring its "clumsy, misshapen script".
It stars the popular Tiffany Haddish as a newly paroled woman who tries to help her sister get revenge on a man who deceived her. In fourth place, Warner Bros' A Star Is Born earned a solid US$11.1 million in its fifth week of release.
Bradley Cooper, in his directorial debut, plays a hard-drinking musician who has a star-crossed love affair with a talented young singer (Lady Gaga).
Not far behind in fifth was Universal's Halloween at US$11 million. The low-budget horror film has Laurie Strode (played again by Jamie Lee Curtis) in a final confrontation with a masked homicidal maniac decades after she survived his first killing spree.
Rounding out the weekend's top 10 were: Venom (US$7.9 million); Smallfoot (US$3.8 million); Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween (US$3.7 million); Hunter Killer (US$3.5 million) and The Hate U Give (US$3.4 million). AFP