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Zendaya & Luca Guadagnino Movie ‘Challengers’ Topspinning To $15M Opening

todayApril 27, 2024

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Amazon MGM Studios’ Challengers is looking at $6.2 million Friday (that includes the near $2M previews), which will get the movie to $15M at 3,477 theaters. How is that? An influx of 18- to 34-year-olds is expected tonight, with a solid hold for Sunday.

On Thursday night, that demo range repped 76% of the pic’s ticketholders, according to Screen Engine/Comscore’s PostTrak. Hands down, this is the biggest opening ever, and widest, for Oscar-nominated Italian filmmaker Luca Guadagnino. Remember, this tennis movie has Imax and some PLFs, essentially all the AMC Dolbys.

RelishMix reports that Challengers now has a social media universe across TikTok, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and X at 278.5M, 60% ahead of romantic movie genre norms. That pic’s social media universe is pacing ahead of Mean Girls (264.1M), Anyone But You (98.8M) and Saltburn (213.9M). Zendaya has a devoted story spot on her Instagram devoted to Challengers, and she reminded her fans today about the movie:

Challengers (watch the trailer below) cost $50M+, and was bought by Amazon MGM as a combo with Guadagnino’s Timothée Chalamet cannibal love story Bones and All. Guadagnino already has another movie lined up at Amazon MGM, the Julia Roberts dramatic thriller After the Hunt, slated for release next year.

In second at the domestic box office is Lionsgate/Kingdom Story’s Unsung Hero with $3.4M-$3.9M today, and $7M-$9M for the weekend at 2,832 theaters.

Legendary/Warner Bros.’ fifth weekend of Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire is in third at 3,312 locations with $1.7M today, and $7M for the 3-day, -27%, for a running total of $181.5M.

Fourth is the third frame of A24’s Civil War at 3,518 sites with $1.8M today, and $6.2M, -44%, for a running cume by Sunday of $55.3M.

Fifth goes to Universal’s Radio Silence-directed horror movie Abigail in 3,393 theaters with a Friday of $1.35M, 3-day of $4.5M, -56%, and 10-day of $18M.

Roadside Attractions’ Boy Kills World is coming in at $900,000 today and $1.9M for the weekend at 1,993 theaters.

PREVIOUSLY, Friday AM: Amazon MGM Studios’ Challengers, starring Zendaya and directed by Luca Guadagnino, made $1.9 million in previews Thursday, a figure $100,000 shy of what Universal’s Cocaine Bear did. The sexy tennis rom-com is hoping to open to $15M for the weekend.

Critics love Challengers at 91% certified fresh, but last night’s audiences were so-so on it with three stars on Screen Engine/Comscore’s PostTrak at 3 1/2 stars, 75% positive and a 56% definite recommend. Women over 25 at 35% came out as well as women under 25 at 25%, but guys over 25 got pulled along as dates at 25%, with men under 25 at 14%. It wasn’t Zendaya’s girl fans who liked the movie the most, but men over 25 at 80%.

Overall best demo grades for Challengers came from the 25-34 bunch (80%, showed up at 37%) and 45-54 folks (82% grade, showed up at 4%). Originally the movie was scheduled to go in mid-September after a Venice Film Festival world premiere, but got pushed to this weekend due to the SAG-AFTRA strike. Whatever number this movie comes in at, it was a smart move as it’s had the global push of Zendaya to her 184M Instagram fans.

The faith-based Unsung Hero grossed $470K yesterday. The movie directed by Joel Smallbone & Richard L. Ramsey, which expands to 2,832 sites today, was made for $6M before P&A and will earn about that much at the B.O. Unsung Hero follows David Smallbone, who moves from Australia to U.S. with seven kids and his wife and turns into a five-time Grammy-winning artist of For King + Country, and Rebecca St. James. In early Thursday PostTrak exits, Unsung Hero notched five stars, 96% positive and an 86% definite recommend. Last night’s audience drew 66% female, 48% over 55. RT reviews for Unsung Hero are at 60% fresh with audiences at 100%.

Early industry estimates for previews on Roadside Attractions’ Boy Kills World movie is around $500K. The Lionsgate’s sister label uber-action movie that was acquired out of TIFF Midnight is looking at a single-digit opening. RT reviews are at 63% fresh, audiences are at 60%. PostTrak moviegoers were hard on the film at 3 stars, 66% positive and a 67% guy turnout.

The rest of Thursday and the week is as follows:

1.) Civil War (A24) 3,929 theaters, Thurs $874K (-8% from Wed), Wk $15M, Total $48.8M/Wk 2

2.) Abigail (Uni) 3,384 theaters, Thurs $646K (-11%), Wk $13.5M, Wk 1

3.) Godzilla x King (Leg/WB) 3,658 theaters Thurs $615K (-3%), Wk $12.3M, Total $174.4M/Wk 4

4.) Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare (LG) 2,845 theaters, Thurs $500K (-19%), Wk $11.5M/Wk 1

5.) Kung Fu Panda 4 (Uni) 2,955 theaters, Thurs $317K (-6%), Wk $6M, Total $181.4M/Wk 7


Written by: New Generation Radio

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