Amy Winehouse ‘Back to Black’ Bombs at Box Office in First Week Debut

Amy Winehouse biopic
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Amy Winehouse biopic
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Photo Credit: Hert Niks

The Amy Winehouse biopic ‘Back to Black’ opened to disappointing numbers, generating less than $3 million during its opening weekend.

The biopic of the late singer also landed flat with fans, who feel as though the biopic is capitalizing on the tragic death of Winehouse. Music biopics have become a popular avenue to success at the box office following the success of 2018’s Bohemian Rhapsody, which ended its theatrical run with $216 million domestically and over $900 million worldwide. Other music biopics released in recent years include Rocketman (2019, $195M worldwide), Elvis (2022, $288M worldwide), Bob Marley: One Love (2024, $178 million worldwide).

Domestic Box Office — Weekend 20 (May 17-19)

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Photo Credit: IMDB

The film is directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson and revisits Amy Winehouse’s romance with Black Fielder-Civil. Winehouse died at the age of 27 in 2011, cutting short her music career. Her struggle with substance abuse and mental illness were the subject of another documentary in 2015 called Amy—that film was directed by Asif Kapadia and grossed $23 million.

The biopic landed flat with fans, with critics in the UK focusing on the performance of Marisa Abela’s performance as Amy Winehouse. The controversy started earlier this year when images of Abela in Winehouse’s signature make-up looking dishevelled and in distress were released online. Winehouse’s father was also involved with the film, which raised concerns among fans that he would attempt to rewrite his daughter’s story.

“Biopics can never fully encapsulate a person’s life,” writes one critical review of the biopic. “But ‘Back to Black’ is an attempt to erase history.”

The Amy Winehouse Foundation was a vocal opponent of the 2015 documentary, which did not gloss over Winehouse’s struggles with substance abuse and mental health issues. Her father was behind the ill-advised and now-cancelled Amy Winehouse hologram tour—which fans responded to negatively on social media. Either way, it looks like this music biopic won’t be reaching the previous heights attained by profiles of other musical stars.