Zendaya tennis film “Challengers” scores big on the weekend box office

The sexy tennis drama” challenger It topped the box office this weekend with $15 million in ticket sales, in line with studio estimates Sunday.

Zendaya and his castmates Mike Faist and Josh O'Connor were on a press tour world wide to advertise Italian director Luca Guadagnino's original film, which premiered in 3,477 locations within the US and Canada.

“We're obviously very, very happy with the number,” said Kevin Wilson, who heads theatrical distribution for Amazon Studios and MGM. “If you look at the audience that was there, it's really encouraging. It’s not exactly easy to get an audience into the cinema.”

58% of ticket buyers were women, although the whole variety of ticket buyers also tended to be younger: 41% were between 18 and 24 years old.

Ticket sales on large screens, including IMAX, accounted for about 40% of opening weekend revenue. According to a PostTrak exit poll reported by Deadline, 55% of viewers said they saw the film due to Zendaya. In fact, Zendaya movies accounted for around 26% of the whole box office this weekend, with the re-release of “ Dune: Part Two ” in IMAX, which grossed nearly $2 million.

The 27-year-old actor has been a part of a few of the most successful franchises of recent years, including the Spider-Man and Dune movies. In each cases, these were supporting roles in big brand movies, but she was an actual eye-catcher Red carpet appearance also often make headlines. “Challengers” could be the primary real test of her ability to “open” a movie about her own star, and MGM and Amazon wouldn’t risk doing it without her.

The studio had originally planned to release “Challengers” in theaters in fall 2023, with a scenic start on the Venice Film Festival. But when the actors went on strike last July, the studio decided to achieve this Sink the festival premiere and to postpone the film until this weekend, after they can make certain that the strike can be resolved. Zendaya wore many tennis looks during her appearances, styled by Law Roach.

“It would be hard to argue that we should have released this film if she wasn't able to support it,” Wilson said.

He particularly credited the studio's promoting and marketing teams for organizing a world tour that resulted in several viral fashion moments.

Reviews have been mostly positive for the R-rated film, which explores a heated and competitive love triangle between the tennis players. The film currently sits at 88% on Rotten Tomatoes and received a B+ CinemaScore from audiences on its opening day.

Guadagnino's last film ” Bones and every part“,” starring Zendaya’s “Dune” co-star Timothée Chalamet, grossed $15.2 million throughout its run. “Challengers” is anticipated to surpass “Call Me By Your Name” ($18 million) by midweek and change into Guadagnino's highest-grossing film.

For Amazon MGM Studios, the worth also extends beyond the box office, providing “downstream value” for Amazon even when “Challengers” eventually makes its solution to Prime Video.

“I've always believed that the theatrical cut was the best way to launch some of these films,” Wilson said. “When this thing gets to Prime Video, it's obviously going to perform a lot better than if it had gone straight to the platform. Theater is just part of it.”

Second place went to the faith-based film “Unsung Hero,” which grossed an estimated $7.8 million from 2,832 locations. It relies on the true story of the Smallbone family and the rise of their children Rebecca St. James and sons Joel and David (for KING + COUNTRY) within the country music scene. Joel Smallbone directed, co-wrote and starred together with his father David.

The Lionsgate film, made for just $6 million, earned a rare A+ CinemaScore and has a 100% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critic's rating is a way more moderate 58%. The audience was predominantly female (69%) and over 25 (91%).

Third place went to “Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire” with $7.2 million in its fifth weekend. In fourth place, A24's “Civil War” also grossed $7 million in its third weekend, bringing its domestic total to $56.2 million. Rounding out the highest five was the horror film “Abigail” with $5.3 million.

“April 2024 presented an opportunity for interesting, innovative and critically acclaimed films to top the box office,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore. “It was a great month for moviegoers looking for something beyond the typical summer blockbusters.”

Box office returns might not be comparable to last yr, when “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” still dominated, but Dergarabedian said it's also necessary to generate audience goodwill.

Next weekend the summer film season begins with the motion comedy from Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt. The Guy case.”

  1. “Challengers,” $15 million.
  2. “Unsung Hero,” $7.8 million.
  3. “Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire,” $7.2 million.
  4. “Civil War,” 7 million.
  5. “Abigail,” $5.3 million.
  6. “The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare,” $3.9 million
  7. “Kung Fu Panda 4,” $3.6 million.
  8. “Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire,” $3.3 million.
  9. “Dune: Part Two,” $2 million.
  10. “Boy Kills World,” $1.7 million.

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