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Box Office: ‘Bob Marley: One Love’ Gets Together $7.4 Million on Friday, ‘Madame Web’ Falls Behind With $4.3 Million

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Paramount’s “Bob Marley: One Love” continued its run as box office leader through the specialized six-day holiday frame, adding $7.4 million on Friday from 3,539 locations to bump its domestic tally to $25.3 million. The biopic about the reggae legend could even double the six-day haul of Sony’s new superhero film “Madame Web,” which earned $4.3 million from 4,013 theaters on Friday. North American haul for the Marvel Comics adaptation currently stands at $12.5 million.

Both features opened on Valentine’s Day and are hoping to carry momentum through the Presidents’ Day holiday. “One Love” asserted itself out of the gate with an impressive $14 million on Wednesday, boosted by a handful of premium large-format auditoriums (“Madame Web” has the majority though). Though the Reinaldo Marcus Green-directed drama landed mediocre reviews, it resonated with early audiences, nabbing an “A” grade from surveyor Cinema Score. Paramount raised some eyebrows when it punted the film from a more awards-friendly January date to the February holiday, but the film seems to have found an enthusiastic audience in its new spot on the calendar.

“One Love” carries a $70 million production budget and additional distribution and marketing costs. The projected six-day domestic debut north of $40 million, plus a substantial international sum, isn’t a bad place to “One Love.” The film is an overseas play, considering the worldwide appeal of Marley. It will need to keep drawing audiences in the coming weeks to not worry about a thing.

Kingsley Ben-Adir leads “One Love” as Bob Marley, with Lashana Lynch co-starring as Rita Marley. The feature tracks the musician’s European and African tour, as well as the production of his landmark album “Exodus.”

“Madame Web” scored even worse reviews and some terrible audience scores (a “C+” through Cinema Score). A few weeks ago, the standalone comic book adaptation had been projecting a six-day total north of $30 million; now, it’ll likely finish closer to $20 million. It’s an inauspicious kick-off for a project that was likely conceived and produced as a franchise starter.

Though Sony is a bit less lavish with its superhero budgets than competitors at Disney and Warner Bros., an $80 million production budget and additional marketing costs aren’t exactly a modest investment set-up for a foolproof return. And the rejection of “Madame Web” isn’t just widespread — it’s practically an online culture unto itself, reinforced by memes that reference Sony’s less-than-stellar track record among superhero buffs (see: the Jared Leto vampire actioner “Morbius”). There’s a lot of bad buzz to overcome and “Madame Web” may not be up to the task.

Dakota Johnson stars in “Madame Web” as a paramedic who discovers that she has clairvoyant abilities and begins to protect a trio of teenagers from the wall-crawling killer that murdered her mother. Sydney Sweeney, Tahar Rahim, Isabela Merced, Celeste O’Connor, Emma Roberts, Adam Scott and Zosia Mamet (“Girls”) also star. S.J. Clarkson directs.

“Argylle” will likely fall to third place, projecting a 32% fall in its third weekend. The Apple Studios production has proven to be the first high-profile bomb of the year. With a huge cast and a price tag north of $200 million for the tech company, the film won’t even cross $40 million domestically through its first 17 days of release.

Universal’s “Migration” is also challenging for third place, well after its holidays debut. The Illumination production should cross $115 million domestically through Presidents’ Day. Theaters will finally get another high-profile animated film for family audiences with “Kung Fu Panda 4” on March 8.

Fathom Event’s release of the faith-based TV series “The Chosen” could push “Wonka” out of the top five in its 10th weekend of release. The Timothée Chalamet musical continues to be a viable draw in a very quiet marketplace, likely adding another $4 million or so through the four-day holiday frame. Domestic tally should soon hit $210 million, just a bit away from surpassing “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” ($214 million) to become the seventh-highest grossing North American release of 2023.