Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Reviews Don’t Matter: Paramount Comeback as Bob Marley Movie Makes $52 Mil in 6 Days Despite Very Rotten Tomatoes


No good reviews, don’t cry.

On Rotten Tomatoes, the Bob Marley movie “One Love” has a 41% among critics and bloggers. It’s rotten, they say.

The audience doesn’t agree. “One Love” has made an astonishing $52 million in six days of release through today. The audience score is 93% on Rotten Tomatoes among filmgoers.

Sometimes, the numbers speak for themselves. Bob Marley has a zillion fans. And they’re all going to see this film.

On its first day, “One Love” scored $14 million. That should have been the giveaway. Even though it calmed down on Thursday and Friday when people were working and the weather was bad, the audience surged again over the weekend.

The critics didn’t get it, apparently. They didn’t realize there was a pent-up demand for Marley’s story and his music. It wasn’t about Scorsese-level story telling. As one song went in the 70s, “I don’t like reggae, I love it.”

All the reviews on RT from top critics were similar to Peter Travers’ on ABC News: “Kingsley Ben-Adir catches the spirit of the Jamaican legend who became the face and voice of reggae and the Rastafarian conscience of his people. But this safe, shallow, family-sanctioned biopic gives us only snippets of songs and scraps of a life.”

But the reviews couldn’t be heard over the din of Marley fans, wailing.

The result is also in the pop charts: Marley’s greatest hits are at the top of iTunes and Amazon.

It does seem likely that “One Love” will be a phenomenon like the Freddie Mercury movie, “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Paramount — for sale, and beleaguered — gets a nice boost on this one. They’re still in the game thanks to clever marketing and publicity. Well played!

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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