Bob Marley's Only Love Is Part of Music Movie Boom – The Hollywood Reporter

Paramount just got the best Valentine's Day gift any studio could ever hope to get Bob Marley: One Lovea biopic of the legendary Jamaican musician, set a new holiday midweek record when it reached $14 million, surpassing its $11.5 million total. The vow In 2012.

But Valentine's Day turned out to be just a preview as the film turned into a box office sensation for all audiences in another win for the musical biopic boom sweeping Hollywood. Iconic music artists — of which there is no shortage — provide studios with much-needed intellectual property rights as tried-and-true genres, namely superhero movies, lose their lyrical power. Hardly a week goes by without the announcement of a new major studio project, including this week's news that Sonny and Sam Mendes are embarking on an ambitious magical mystery tour that will see each of the four Beatles get their own feature film, all to be released In theaters in 2027

Heading down the Valentine's and President's Day aisle, one love It was tracking a respectable six-day launch of $30 million. Instead, the film grossed $51.5 million and received a cinema award from audiences in rebuke to the rave reviews. Although it is not a comprehensive comparison, Marley's biopic is related to bohemian rhapsody It ranks as the second biggest music autobiography release behind it Straight from Compton ($60.2 million).

The secret to one loveBox office success: It expanded every day in demographics until it was shown to all age groups, most notably, younger moviegoers who had not even been born when the musician died in 1981. Marley's family worked closely with Paramount in making the film , with Bob Marley's son, Ziggy, serving as producer. In the months leading up to the film's opening, Paramount's subtle marketing campaign included strategically urging crowds gathered at sporting events, or even subway stations, to break out into song. Videos of the joyous celebrations went viral and singles began spontaneously occurring at points around the world (thank you TikTok).

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“As an artist, Bob Marley has had an enormous impact across generations, and there's a reason his music is still played today. When you're able to turn your head around… Around the music, the message and the person, there is always an opportunity to break out.” Rocket man And the documentary about Michael Jackson's posthumous concert that's it When he was at Sony.

It would be natural to expect one love To twist the tooth, which is what happened – at least at first. On Valentine's Day, the largest group of ticket buyers were between the ages of 35 and 44 (22%), according to data shared with Hollywood Reporter. By PostTrack's count, nearly 70 percent of the audience was 25 or older. But by the end of the week, more teens and young adults started showing up, even though there was a new superhero movie on the big screen. Madame Web. In the end, those ages 18 to 24 — the most common moviegoers — made up the largest portion (23 percent) of the opening week audience.

“This is music that teens, parents and grandparents can come together to,” Weinstock says.

one love It attracted ethnically diverse crowds from the beginning, but the composition also changed as the days went by. Initially, 43 percent of ticket buyers were Black moviegoers, followed by Latino moviegoers (28 percent), Caucasian moviegoers (19 percent), and Asian/other moviegoers (7 percent). The final weighted distribution of the six-day openings shows that Caucasian moviegoers made up 38 percent of all ticket buyers, followed by Black moviegoers (30 percent), Latino moviegoers (25 percent), and Asian/other moviegoers (7 percent).

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One of the attractions of musical biopics to theaters in particular is “the immersive, gritty sound that modern movie theaters provide,” notes Paul Dergarabedian, senior box office analyst at Comscore.

The race to participate in the Gold Rush can be traced back to Universal's NWA biopic Straight from Compton, which grossed $202.2 million at the worldwide box office in 2015, not adjusted for inflation. Three years later, 20y The Freddie Mercury biopic is produced by Century Fox bohemian rhapsody It staggered in earning $910 million worldwide. Includes more recent victories Rocket man ($196 million) and Warner Bros. Oscar contender Elvis ($288 million). But there have been failures, including last year Whitney Houston: I want to dance with somebody ($59 million) and a 2021 Aretha Franklin biopic respect ($32 million).

Studios are still betting heavily on landing in the winning column. Earlier this month, Paramount paid $25 million for the North American broadcast rights A better man, about the rise of iconic singer-songwriter Robbie Williams. The film is directed by Michael Gracey, whose credits include Greatest Showman. Paramount and Amblin are teaming up on a Bee Gees biopic, which Ridley Scott is in talks to direct. A Michael Jackson biopic directed by Antoine Fuqua is now in the works by Lionsgate and Universal Pictures International, while Focus Features is set to release an Amy Winehouse biopic. Back to black This spring.

When Paramount, the Marley family and director Reynaldo Marcus Greene held the world premiere of the film one love In Kingston, Jamaica, the audience burst into applause when Kingsley Ben-Adir, who plays Bob Marley, spoke for the first time. Although he is not Jamaican, his national accent was perfect.

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“Authenticity was really key to telling this story, and Ziggy and the Marley family were instrumental in working alongside the filmmakers and our studio to make sure we told this story in a way that did justice to Bob’s legacy,” Weinstock says.

Case in point: While other actors may have looked like his father, Ziggy Marley wanted Ben-Adir because he embodies the essence of his father.

“When musical biopics speak authentically to audiences, they have an opportunity to become part of the cultural conversation,” Weinstock concludes.

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