Bob Marley Film Has a Strong Start, but ‘Madame Web’ Unravels

The sleepy United States box office finally lifted its eyelids over the holiday weekend. “Bob Marley: One Love,” a feel-good musical biopic, was on track to take in $33.2 million from Friday through Monday, for a strong total of roughly $51 million since opening on Valentine’s Day, according to Paramount Pictures.

“Excuse me while I light my spliff,” read a celebratory post on the official X account for Marley, who died in 1981.

“One Love,” which cost about $70 million to make, landed in what has emerged over the last year as a box office sweet spot — stories that feel both nostalgic and new — allowing it to overcome weak reviews, box office analysts said. (Marley has never before been the subject of a big-screen musical biopic.)

But the movie business, for the most part, was anything but euphoric. The weekend’s other new wide-release movie, “Madame Web,” based on a minor character from the Spider-Man comics, added to what has recently been a clear message from ticket buyers: The comics-character boom is over. “Madame Web” was on track to sell $17.6 million in tickets from Friday through Monday, for a total of $25.8 million since arriving on Valentine’s Day, according to Sony Pictures.

Ticket sales for “Madame Web” were among the lowest ever for a superhero movie — a genre that, for decades, has been one of Hollywood’s most reliable moneymakers. To compare, “Elektra,” considered a hall-of-fame superhero misfire, collected $12.8 million over its first three days in 2005, or about $21 million in today’s dollars.

Dakota Johnson in a scene from “Madame Web.” Ticket sales were among the lowest ever for a superhero movie.Credit…Beth Dubber/Sony Pictures

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