The Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody has shrugged off production troubles and mediocre reviews to debut with an estimated $US50 million ($A69 million) in weekend ticket sales at the US box office, well above expectations.

The 20th Century Fox release, starring Rami Malek as the Queen frontman had been pegged for closer to $US35-40 million in its opening weekend.

But audiences were compelled to cinemas by the allure of Malek’s widely praised performance and by Queen’s foot-stomping anthems.

Opening in a distant second place was Disney’s lavish, big-budget The Nutcracker And The Four Realms, debuting with $US20 million.


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