Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Rock Music Sells on Screen: Beatles Movie “Yesterday” Surprises with $17 Million Weekend, Plus Elton John’s “Rocketman” Crosses $160 Mil


Is this the real life?

“Bohemian Rhapsody” certainly opened the door to a new genre of films.

Over the weekend, “Yesterday”– the movie with 17 Beatles songs — made $17 million. The film overperformed, outsmarting experts who put it at $15 million. Word of mouth sold it. So many people have told me it’s their favorite movie so far this year! The Beatles received $4.5 million for use of their songs, which now may seem like a bargain to Sony Music Publishing.

And then Elton John’s “Rocketman” has shown very sturdy “legs” after 31 days. The Honky Cat has raked in almost $85 million in the US, and over $160 million total worldwide. What’s interesting about “Rocketman” is that week to week, the drops are minimal. Also word of mouth has worked, as moviegoers have obviously told their friends to go see it.

All of this portends very well for Liesl Tommy’s Aretha Franklin movie, “Respect,” starring Jennifer Hudson, if it ever gets off the ground.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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