‘Bob Marley: One Love’ Passes ‘Rocketman’ to Become One of the Top 5 Highest-Grossing Music Biopics: Here’s the Top 25 (2024)

Bob Marley: One Love grossed $607,000 in its eighth week at the box office, which was enough to enable it to pass the 2019 Elton John biopic Rocketman as the fifth highest-grossing biopic of a musician in domestic box-office history. Bob Marley: One Love, which stars Kingsley Ben-Adir as reggae legend Bob Marley, has grossed $96.6 million in the U.S. and Canada through Sunday (April 7), according to boxofficemojo.com.

Rocketman grossed $96.4 million during its run. Marley and Elton John both achieved global fame in the 1970s. But while Rocketman was a celebration of an artist who conquered his demons and has a long and multi-faceted career, Bob Marley: One Love is inherently a sadder story. Marley died of an aggressive type of skin cancer in 1981. He was just 36.

Here are the 25 highest-grossing biopics of musicians in terms of domestic box office. These films cover a remarkably wide range of genres. Pop/rock artists are the focus of seven of the 25 films, followed by R&B (five); rap and traditional pop (three each); country and classical (two each); and Latin, contemporary Christian and reggae (one each).

Methodology:Boxofficemojo.commaintains lists of top-grossing films searchable by dozens of “genre keywords.” Under“music,”we extracted biopics, which we define as films in which actors portray the musicians. Five of the biopics listed here aren’t listed under music on theboxofficemojo.comsite, so we manually inserted them, using box-office figures found elsewhere on the site.

We didn’t include some high-grossing films about real-life music personalities because they’re not biopics in the traditional sense. These include The Sound of Music (which tells the story of Maria von Trapp and the Trapp Family Singers); Green Book (which deals with a road trip taken by pianist and composer Don Shirley); Florence Foster Jenkins (about an heiress and hopelessly untalented soprano by that name); and Music of the Heart (about violinist and music educator Roberta Guaspari). Meryl Streep starred in the latter two films.

Here are the 25 biopics of music stars with the highest domestic (defined as U.S. and Canada) grosses:

  • The Buddy Holly Story (1978)

    ‘Bob Marley: One Love’ Passes ‘Rocketman’ to Become One of the Top 5 Highest-Grossing Music Biopics: Here’s the Top25 (1)

    Domestic gross: $14.4 million

    Director: Steve Rash

    Music: Joe Renzetti

    Notes: Gary Busey received an Oscar nomination for best actor for playing the highly original singer/songwriter who died at age 22 in a 1959 plane crash. Joe Renzetti won an Oscar for best adaptation score. The soundtrack reached No. 86 on the Billboard 200.

  • Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Somebody (2022)


    Domestic gross: $23.7 million


    Director: Kasi Lemmons


    Music: Chanda Dancy


    Notes: Naomi Ackie starred in this film, which was directed by Kasi Lemmons. Stanley Tucci co-starred as Clive Davis, who signed Houston to Arista Records in 1983 when she was just 19. Davis oversaw her tremendous rise but was unable to prevent her tragic fall. The film is titled after Houston’s 1987 single that topped Billboard’s 2023 list of The 500 Best Pop Songs: Staff List.

  • Respect (2021)

    Domestic gross: $24.3 million

    Director: Liesl Tommy

    Music: Kris Bowers

    Notes: Jennifer Hudson played Aretha Franklin in this biopic, which tracked her rise from singing in her father’s church’s choir to her unquestioned status as the Queen of Soul. The soundtrack reached No. 151 on the Billboard 200.

  • Judy (2019)

    Domestic gross: $24.3 million

    Director: Rupert Goold

    Music: Gabriel Yared

    Notes: Renée Zellweger won an Oscar for best actress for playing Judy Garland in this biopic. The irony: Garland never won a competitive Oscar, despite two nominations, one in the same category in which Zellweger won. Judy wasn’t a standard biopic, but a look at the last year of her life, when she arrived in London in the winter of 1968 to perform a series of sold-out concerts.

  • Get on Up (2014)

    Domestic gross: $30.7 million

    Director: Tate Taylor

    Music: Thomas Newman

    Notes: The late, great Chadwick Boseman starred as James Brown in this biopic, which was directed by Tate Taylor and produced by Taylor, Brian Grazer, Mick Jagger and Victoria Pearman. Viola Davis, Craig Robinson and Octavia Spencer had supporting roles. The film soundtrack reached No. 61 on the Billboard 200.

  • The Doors (1991)

    Domestic gross: $34.4 million

    Director: Oliver Stone

    Music: The Doors

    Notes: Val Kilmer starred as The Doors’ charismatic lead singer Jim Morrison in this film that was directed by Oliver Stone, who also co-wrote the screenplay. The film also starred Kyle MacLachlan as keyboardist Ray Manzarek, Frank Whaley as lead guitarist Robby Krieger and Kevin Dillon as drummer John Densmore. The film followed Morrison from his days as a UCLA film student to his untimely death in Paris at age 27 in 1971. The film shared its title with the title of The Doors’ classic 1967 debut album. The soundtrack reached No. 8 on the Billboard 200.

  • Selena (1997)

    Domestic gross: $35.3 million

    Director: Gregory Nava

    Music: Dave Grusin

    Notes: Rising star Jennifer Lopez starred as Tejano music star Selena, who rose from cult status to performing at the Houston Astrodome. The film includes her shocking murder at age 23 at the hands of former fan club president Yolanda Saldívar. The soundtrack reached No. 7 on the Billboard 200.

  • Shine (1996)

    Domestic gross: $35.9 million

    Director: Scott Hicks

    Music: David Hirschfelder

    Notes: Geoffrey Rush won an Oscar for best actor for playing pianist David Helfgott, who suffered a mental breakdown and spent years in institutions. The film was nominated for seven Oscars, including best picture. The soundtrack reached No. 59 on the Billboard 200.

  • Notorious (2009)

    Domestic gross: $36.8 million

    Director: George Tillman Jr.

    Music: Danny Elfman

    Notes: Jamal Woolard starred as Christopher Wallace (a.k.a. The Notorious B.I.G.) in this biopic. After rising to the top of the rap music world, Biggie was shot to death at age 24 in 1997. Angela Bassett, Derek Luke and Anthony Mackie also starred in the film. The soundtrack reached No. 4 on the Billboard 200.

  • Funny Lady (1975)

    Domestic gross: $39 million

    Director: Herbert Ross

    Music: John Kander, Fred Ebb, Peter Matz

    Notes: This was the less-celebrated, but still popular, sequel to 1968’s Funny Girl. Barbra Streisand reprised her Oscar-winning role as Fanny Brice and James Caan played showman Billy Rose. The film spawned an Oscar-nominated song, “How Lucky Can You Get.” The film soundtrack reached No. 6 on the Billboard 200.

  • What's Love Got to Do With It (1993)

    ‘Bob Marley: One Love’ Passes ‘Rocketman’ to Become One of the Top 5 Highest-Grossing Music Biopics: Here’s the Top25 (2)

    Domestic gross: $39.1 million

    Director: Brian Gibson

    Music: Stanley Clarke

    Notes: Angela Bassett received an Oscar nomination for best actress for playing the indominable Tina Turner in this biopic. Laurence Fishburne received an Oscar nod for best actor for playing her abusive husband Ike Turner. The film drew its title from Turner’s biggest hit, which topped the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks in 1984 and won Grammys for record and song of the year. The film soundtrack reached No. 17 on the Billboard 200.

  • All Eyez on Me (2017)

    Domestic gross: $44.9 million

    Director: Benny Boom

    Music: John Paesano

    Notes: Demetrius Shipp Jr. starred as Tupac Shakur in this film, with Jamal Woolard reprising his role as Christopher “The Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace from Notorious. Shipp’s father worked on music videos with 2Pac, who was shot to death in 1996 at age 25. The film drew its title from 2Pac’s 1996 double-disc album, his second to top the Billboard 200.

  • Jersey Boys (2014)

    Domestic gross: $47 million

    Director: Clint Eastwood

    Music: Bob Gaudio

    Notes: Clint Eastwood directed and co-produced this film adaptation of the blockbuster stage musical, which opened on Broadway in 2005. The biopic about The Four Seasons starred John Lloyd Young as Frankie Valli, Erich Bergen as Bob Gaudio, Michael Lomenda as Nick Massi and Vincent Piazza as Tommy DeVito. The film didn’t get nearly as much awards love as the stage musical did. The musical won four Tony Awards including best musical and best actor in a musical for Young. The film didn’t land a single Oscar nod. Valli and Gaudio served as executive producers of the film. The soundtrack reached No. 15 on the Billboard 200.

  • Amadeus (1984)

    Domestic gross: $51. 6 million

    Director: Milos Forman

    Notes: Tom Hulce received an Oscar nomination for best actor for playing Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, but lost to F. Murray Abraham, who had the showier role as Antonio Salieri, who was insanely jealous of Mozart’s talent. The film received 11 Oscar nominations and won eight awards, including best picture and best director for Miloš Forman. Peter Shaffer also won best adapted screenplay for adapting his stage play, which had won five Tony Awards in 1981. The double-disc soundtrack, credited to conductor/arranger Neville Marriner, reached No. 56 on the Billboard 200 and won a Grammy for best classical album.

  • Funny Girl (1968)


    Domestic gross: $52.2 million


    Director: William Wyler


    Music: Jule Styne, Bob Merrill


    Notes: Barbra Streisand won an Oscar for her motion picture debut in which she played Fanny Brice, a top star of the vaudeville era. “My Man” and “I’d Rather Be Blue,” both featured in Funny Girl, were hits for Brice in the 1920s. Streisand won best actress in a tie (still the only one in the history of the category) with Katharine Hepburn, who won for The Lion in Winter. “Hello, gorgeous,” Streisand began her speech, before graciously adding: “And I’m very honored to be in such magnificent company as Katharine Hepburn.” Funny Girl received eight nominations, including best picture. The film soundtrack reached No. 12 on the Billboard 200 and spent more than two years on the chart.

  • La Bamba (1987)

    ‘Bob Marley: One Love’ Passes ‘Rocketman’ to Become One of the Top 5 Highest-Grossing Music Biopics: Here’s the Top25 (3)

    Domestic gross: $54.2 million

    Director: Luis Valdez

    Music: Carlos Santana, Miles Goodman

    Notes: Lou Diamond Phillips starred as Chicano music star Ritchie Valens who died at age 17 in a plane crash that also claimed the lives of Buddy Holly and The Big Bopper. The film is titled after a Mexican folk song, which Valens completely transformed with his rock and roll rendition in 1958. Valens’ version reached No. 22 on the Hot 100 in 1959. (It was not his biggest hit. That was “Donna,” which reached No. 2.) The film soundtrack, credited to Los Lobos, topped the Billboard 200 for two weeks in 1987. Los Lobos’ zesty recording of “La Bamba” topped the Hot 100 for three weeks and received Grammy nominations for record and song of the year.

  • Coal Miner's Daughter (1980)

    Domestic gross: $67.2 million

    Director: Michael Apted

    Music: Owen Bradley

    Notes: Sissy Spacek won an Oscar for best actress for playing country queen Loretta Lynn. The film received seven Oscar nominations, including best picture. Tommy Lee Jones, Beverly D’Angelo and Levon Helm had supporting roles. Ernest Tubb, Roy Acuff, and Minnie Pearl made cameo appearances as themselves. The film was based on a 1976 biography of Lynn by George Vecsey also titled Coal Miner’s Daughter. Both the book and the film drew their titles from Lynn’s signature hit, which reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles chart (as it was called then) in December 1970. The soundtrack reached No. 40 on the Billboard 200.

  • Ray (2004)

    Domestic gross: $75.3 million

    Director: Taylor Hackford

    Music: Craig Armstrong

    Notes: Jamie Foxx won an Oscar for best actor for playing Ray Charles, the genre-bridging musician who lived up to the label “genius.” The film received six Oscar nominations, including best picture. Taylor Hackford directed and co-produced the film, and co-conceived the story. The soundtrack reached No. 9 on the Billboard 200 and won a Grammy for best compilation soundtrack album for motion picture, television or other visual media.

  • I Can Only Imagine (2018)

    Domestic gross: $83.5 million

    Directors: Andrew & Jon Erwin

    Music: Brent McCorkle

    Notes: Michael Finley starred as Bart Millard, the lead singer of the contemporary Christian band MercyMe. Millard wrote the song about his relationship with his father, played by Dennis Quaid. The song reached No. 71 on the Hot 100 and charted for 18 weeks. At the 2018 Dove Awards, the film, which also starred Trace Adkins and Cloris Leachman, won inspirational film of the year.

  • Rocketman (2019)

    ‘Bob Marley: One Love’ Passes ‘Rocketman’ to Become One of the Top 5 Highest-Grossing Music Biopics: Here’s the Top25 (4)

    Domestic gross: $96.4 million

    Director: Dexter Fletcher

    Music: Matthew Margeson

    Notes: Taron Egerton won raves for his performance as Elton John, with Jamie Bell playing his collaborator, Bernie Taupin. But the actors were passed over for Oscar nods, while the real thing, Elton and Bernie, won Oscars for best original song for “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again.” The film drew its title from John’s 1972 hit, which reached No. 6 on the Hot 100 – his highest ranking to that point. (Many bigger hits were in his future.) The soundtrack reached No. 50 on the Billboard 200.

  • Bob Marley: One Love (2024)


    Domestic gross: $96.6 million


    Director: Reinaldo Marcus Green


    Music: Kris Bowers


    Notes: “First he changed music. Then he changed the world” is the tagline for this film, which was directed and co-written byReinaldo Marcus Green. It is based on the life ofreggaelegendBob Marley, from his rise to fame in the mid-1970s up until his death in 1981. The film starsKingsley Ben-Adiras Marley, withLashana Lynchashis wife Rita Marley andJames NortonasIsland Records founder Chris Blackwell.

  • Walk the Line(2005)

    Domestic gross: $119.5 million

    Director: James Mangold

    Music: T Bone Burnett

    Notes: Joaquin Phoenix received an Oscar nomination for best actor for playing country legend Johnny Cash, while Reese Witherspoon won best actress for playing his wife, country star June Carter Cash. The film received five Oscar nominations. The screenplay, written by James Mangold (who also directed the film) and Gill Dennis, was based on two Cash autobiographies — 1975’s Man in Black: His Own Story in His Own Wordsand 1997’sCash: The Autobiography. The film drew its title from Cash’s 1956 hit, “I Walk the Line.” The soundtrack reached No. 9 on the Billboard 200 and won a Grammy for best compilation soundtrack album for motion picture, television or other visual media.

  • Elvis (2022)

    Domestic gross: $151 million

    Director: Baz Luhrmann

    Music: Elliott Wheeler

    Notes:Elvis is Baz Luhrmann’s biopic of Elvis Presley, from his childhood to becoming one of the greatest pop music stars of all time. The film also explores his complex relationship with his manager, Colonel Tom Parker, played by Tom Hanks. In addition to directing the film, Luhrmann co-wrote and co-produced it. This is Luhrmann’s sixth film, following Strictly Ballroom(1992), Romeo + Juliet(1996), Moulin Rouge!(2001), Australia(2008) and The Great Gatsby (2013). On Aug. 23, 2022, Elvis overtook The Great Gatsby to become Luhrmann’s highest-grossing film in the U.S. and Canada.

  • Straight Outta Compton (2015)

    Domestic gross: $161.2 million

    Director: F. Gary Gray

    Music: Joseph Trapanese

    Notes: Ice Cube was played by his real-life son, O’Shea Jackson Jr., in this N.W.A biopic, which also starred Corey Hawkins as Dr. Dre, Jason Mitchell as Eazy-E, Neil Brown Jr. as DJ Yella and Aldis Hodge as MC Ren. Paul Giamatti was featured as N.W.A’s manager Jerry Heller. The members of N.W.A were involved in the production of the film, including Ice Cube and Dr. Dre as producers. Eazy-E’s widow, Tomica Woods-Wright, was also a producer, while MC Ren and DJ Yella served as creative consultants. The film drew its title from N.W.A’s debut album, which reached a new peak on the Billboard 200 (No. 4) following the film’s release.

  • Bohemian Rhapsody(2018)

    Domestic gross: $216.4 million

    Director: Brian Singer

    Music: Queen

    Notes: Rami Malek won an Oscar for best actor for playing Queen’s charismatic lead singer Freddie Mercury. The film also starred Gwilym Lee as guitarist Brian May, Ben Hardy as drummer Roger Taylor and Joe Mazzello as bassist John Deacon. May and Taylor served as consultants on the film, which focused on the period from the band’s formation in 1970 to their triumphant performance at Live Aid in Wembley Stadium in 1985. The film received five Oscar nominations, including best picture, and won four awards, more than any other film that year. The film drew its title from Queen’s most famous song, which reached No. 9 on the Hot 100 in 1976 and No. 2 in 1992 after it was featured in the box-office smash “Wayne’s World.” The Bohemian Rhapsody soundtrack reached No. 2 on the Billboard 200.

‘Bob Marley: One Love’ Passes ‘Rocketman’ to Become One of the Top 5 Highest-Grossing Music Biopics: Here’s the Top 25 (2024)

FAQs

What biopic has made the most money? ›

As of September 2023, "Oppenheimer" was the highest-grossing biopic of all time with a global box office revenue of 912.6 million U.S. dollars, while "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "American Sniper" ranked second and third respectively.

How did One Love do in the box office? ›

Instead, “One Love” smashed those expectations, earning $52 million during the extended holiday stretch. It remained victorious in its sophom*ore outing (despite the presence of three new releases), raising its domestic total to $71 million.

What is the number 1 movie that made the most money? ›

That makes the No. 1 title, “Avatar,” even more impressive, since the underwater epic came out 15 years ago, when ticket prices were lower, yet is still on top of the worldwide list. Its sequel, “The Way of Water,” hovers not far behind at No. 3.

What is the #1 best movie ever? ›

1. Citizen Kane (1941)

How well did Bob Marley: One Love do at the box office? ›

Bob Marley: One Love is still a box office success, nearing $100 million domestically. The film may surpass $200 million worldwide, despite mixed reviews, driven by Kingsley Ben-Adir's performance. Recent biopics like Rocketman and Bohemian Rhapsody prove the enduring popularity of music biopics.

Did one love do well at the box office? ›

Paramount's “Bob Marley: One Love” has given the box office some much-needed relief, drawing out fans of the reggae music legend across demographics to earn an estimated $52 million over its first six days in domestic release.

How much did Bob Marley movie gross? ›

Globally, the film has made $146 million, according to Box Office Mojo. With nearly $83 million in box office receipts in America alone, Bob Marley: One Love has become one of the top-earning musical biopics in the nation's history.

Who has been in the most billion dollar movies? ›

20 actors who have been in multiple billion-dollar movies
  • 1 of 20. Johnny Depp. Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. ...
  • 2 of 20. Kate Winslet. Paramount Pictures. ...
  • 3 of 20. Zoe Saldana. 20th Century Fox. ...
  • 4 of 20. Chris Pratt. Amblin Entertainment. ...
  • 5 of 20. Scarlett Johansson. ...
  • 6 of 20. Dwayne Johnson. ...
  • 7 of 20. Vin Diesel. ...
  • 8 of 20. Kristen Bell.
5 days ago

How much money has the movie Priscilla made so far? ›

Priscilla premiered at the 80th Venice International Film Festival on September 4, 2023, and was released in the United States by A24 in select theaters on October 27, 2023, before expanding wide on November 3. It received generally positive reviews from critics and grossed over $32 million worldwide.

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