‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ rocks box offices, if not critics

Egyptian-American actor Rami Malek stars as the charismatic Freddie Mercury. (Getty Images / AFP)
Updated 05 November 2018

‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ rocks box offices, if not critics

  • Bohemian Rhapsody logged one of the best openings ever for a music biopic
  • Vox.com dismissed it ‘a crashingly dull movie about ... one of the least drab humans who ever lived’

LOS ANGELES: Proving again that audiences matter more than critics, Fox’s Freddie Mercury biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” rocked North American box offices this weekend with a solid $50 million take, industry tracker Exhibitor Relations reported Sunday.
The film’s unexpectedly strong launch put it well ahead of Disney’s new “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms,” at $20 million, and “Paramount’s “Nobody’s Fool,” with $14 million in estimated ticket sales for the three-day weekend.
“Rhapsody,” with Egyptian-American actor Rami Malek starring as the charismatic Mercury, thus logged one of the best openings ever for a music biopic.
The movie has received decidedly mixed reviews, however. Vox.com dismissed it “a crashingly dull movie about ... one of the least drab humans who ever lived,” while the Washington Post called it a “bad movie that works, even when it shouldn’t.” But Malek, a Primetime Emmy winner for his role in TV’s “Mr. Robot,” has won mostly high praise.
While Fox essentially paid the $50 million production cost of “Rhapsody” with the film’s opening-weekend take, Disney was not faring as well with “Nutcracker,” which cost $125 million to make. The studio hopes the classic Christmas tale will hold on through the holidays, Variety said.
But like “Rhapsody,” the Keira Knightley film got some less-than-glowing reviews. “Tchaikovsky,” said Rolling Stone, “is rolling in his grave.”
Nor did “Nobody’s Fool,” Tyler Perry’s first R-rated comedy, do much better on the critic’s couch, with HollywoodReporter.com deploring its “clumsy, misshapen script.” It stars the popular Tiffany Haddish as a newly paroled woman who tries to help her sister get revenge on a man who deceived her.
In fourth place, Warner Bros’ “A Star Is Born” earned a solid $11.1 million in its fifth week out. Bradley Cooper, in his directorial debut, plays a hard-drinking musician who has a star-crossed love affair with a talented young singer (Lady Gaga).
Not far behind in fifth was Universal’s “Halloween,” at $11 million. The low-budget horror film has Laurie Strode (played again by Jamie Lee Curtis) in a final confrontation with a masked homicidal maniac decades after she survived his first killing spree.
Rounding out the weekend’s top 10 were:
“Venom” ($7.9 million)
“Smallfoot” ($3.8 million)
“Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween” ($3.7 million)
“Hunter Killer” ($3.5 million)
“The Hate U Give” ($3.4 million)


Passionate Saudi musicians Jwa ready to take the world by storm

The group has plans to perform in Jordan, Egypt, Dubai and Bahrain, as it awaits the release of its first album before exploring new horizons. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 19 February 2020

Passionate Saudi musicians Jwa ready to take the world by storm

  • Jwa’s first album is due to be released on Feb. 25
  • The word “jwa” in Arabic means the “highest levels of passion and love,” which embodies how the quintet feel about Indie music — the thing that brought them together

RIYADH: The music scene in the Kingdom is exploding, with young, talented Saudis taking full advantage of the developments in the country by showcasing their talent.
 In a limited time, young Saudi musicians have proven that they are equal to any other young cohort of musicians anywhere in the world.
 One of those talents is a young band from Dhahran, Jwa. Currently performing locally in Riyadh, Jeddah and other cities in the Eastern Province, the group has plans to perform in Jordan, Egypt, Dubai and Bahrain, as it awaits the release of its first album before exploring new horizons.
 The band, formed in 2018, is composed of Methgal Al-Shammari on drums, Mohammad Al-Nahas (bass and vocals), Arkan Al-Zahrani (guitar), Mansour Al-Gallaf (guitar) and Fawaz Baasem (keyboard).
They have had two local hit singles, “Ya Safina” and “Min Jadeed.” Methgal and Mohammad, the founders of Jwa, say that at first they “performed at numerous local events and parties” across the Kingdom. It did not take them long to become popular among Saudis.

FASTFACTS

• Jwa was formed in 2018.

• Since its launch it has two local hit singles.

• The band’s first album is due to be released on Feb. 25.

The word “jwa” in Arabic means the “highest levels of passion and love,” which embodies how the quintet feel about Indie music — the thing that brought them together.
However, they have faced many challenges in the last two years. Methgal and Mohammad said initially a “lack of support for independent bands” and “weakness of the nurturing music environment” within the country halted their progress.
However, due to the steps taken by the General Entertainment Authority, bands like Jwa have become able to make their voices and music heard. In the future, they are looking to go international, to “make their band known not only to different regions of Saudi Arabia but also abroad to gain more momentum and attraction.”
Jwa’s first album is due to be released on Feb. 25.