'Bohemian Rhapsody' rocked the box office, but it couldn't beat 'Straight Outta Compton' for best music biopic opening

20th Century Fox

The Queen biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody,” starring Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury, rocked the box office over the weekend with a $US50 million debut.

It beat expectations, which placed it in the $US35-40 million range, and grossed another $US72.5 million internationally. But it’s not the biggest music biopic opening of all time.

Films that portray the lives of music legends are a dime a dozen, but only a few have become box-office success stories, including “Bohemian Rhapsody” and the NWA biopic, “Straight Outta Compton.”

Below are the six music biopics with the biggest opening weekends ever:


6. “Notorious” (2009)

Fox Searchlight

Adjusted opening weekend: $US25,113,700

Original opening weekend:$US20,497,596

Adjusted domestic gross: $US45,140,900

Rotten Tomatoes score: 51%

Description:“‘Notorious’ is the story of Christopher Wallace who, through raw talent and sheer determination, transforms himself from a Brooklyn street hustler to become the greatest rapper of all time, The Notorious B.I.G. This story charts his meteoric rise to fame and his refusal to succumb to expectation. Produced by Voletta Wallace (BIG’s mother), Wayne Barrowman and Mark Pitts (BIG’s managers), Notorious challenges us all to redefine our notion of what is ‘The American Dream.'”


5. “All Eyez On Me” (2017)

Lionsgate

Adjusted opening weekend: $US26,996,600

Original opening weekend: $US26,435,354

Adjusted domestic gross: $US45,885,300

Rotten Tomatoes score: 16%

Description:“Demetrius Shipp Jr. stars as the legendary Tupac Shakur in this powerful, true, and untold story of the rapper, actor, poet, and activist -from his early days in New York City to his evolution into a cultural icon whose legacy continues to grow long after his untimely death at the age of twenty-five. ‘All Eyez on Me’ also stars Kat Graham, Lauren Cohan, Hill Harper, Jamal Woolard, and Danai Gurira.”


4. “Ray” (2004)

Universal

Adjusted opening weekend: $US29,494,900

Original opening weekend: $US20,039,730

Adjusted domestic gross: $US110,683,100

Rotten Tomatoes score: 80%

Description:“Jamie Foxx stars as the one-of-a-kind innovator of soul, Ray Charles, who overcame impossible odds and humble beginnings to become an extraordinary music legend.”


3. “Walk the Line” (2005)

Twentieth Century Fox

Adjusted opening weekend: $US31,865,000

Original opening weekend: $US22,347,341

Adjusted domestic gross: $US169,494,600

Rotten Tomatoes score: 83%

Description:“James Mangold’s Walk the Line tells the life story of country music legend Johnny Cash (Joaquin Phoenix), focusing primarily on the long courtship he had with June Carter (Reese Witherspoon).”


2. “Bohemian Rhapsody” (2018)

Fox

Opening weekend: $US50,000,000

Rotten Tomatoes score: 60%

Description: “Bohemian Rhapsody is a foot-stomping celebration of Queen, their music and their extraordinary lead singer Freddie Mercury. Freddie defied stereotypes and shattered convention to become one of the most beloved entertainers on the planet. The film traces the meteoric rise of the band through their iconic songs and revolutionary sound.”


1. “Straight Outta Compton” (2015)

Universal

Adjusted opening weekend: $US66,694,500

Original opening weekend: $US60,200,180

Adjusted domestic gross: $US178,493,100

Rotten Tomatoes score: 88%

Description: “In 1987, five young men, using brutally honest rhymes and hardcore beats, put their frustration and anger about life in the most dangerous place in America into the most powerful weapon they had: their music. Taking us back to where it all began, Straight Outta Compton tells the true story of how these cultural rebels-armed only with their lyrics, swagger, bravado and raw talent-stood up to the authorities that meant to keep them down and formed the world’s most dangerous group, N.W.A. And as they spoke the truth that no one had before and exposed life in the hood, their voice ignited a social revolution that is still reverberating today.”

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