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Zendaya’s Challengers Wins Game, Set, Match During Its Opening Weekend

Zendaya's Challengers Wins Game, Set, Match During Its Opening Weekend


  • Zendaya’s
    lays claim to No. 1 at the box office, serving up an estimated $15 million debut domestically; newcomer
    Unsung Hero
    settles for No. 2 with $7.8 million.
  • Challengers
    also earned $10 million internationally, en route to a global premiere of $25 million, marking Luca Guadagnino’s biggest opening of his career.
  • If the estimates hold, the 45th anniversary screenings of
    (1979) will keep
    Boy Kills World
    from cracking the Top 10.

“Come on!” Zendaya, Mike Faist and Josh O’Connor’s torrid on-screen tryst lays claim to the No. 1 spot at the weekend box office with an estimated $15 million domestically during its theatrical debut. Challengers also performed well overseas as the steamy sports romance made an additional $10 million internationally for a worldwide debut of $25 million (per The Numbers). Challengers’ stellar performance also marks the biggest opening ever for filmmaker Luca Guadagnino.

Challengers was perfectly positioned, in terms of its release window, to nestle itself between March’s heavy hitters (Dune: Part Two, Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, Kung Fu Panda 4) and May’s upcoming blockbuster hopefuls like The Fall Guy, The Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes and Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga. With little to no competition this weekend, Challengers won handily.




Release Date
April 26, 2024

Justin Kuritzkes

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), Pascal Pictures

Zendaya’s latest big-screen project currently boasts an 87% Tomatometer rating thanks to the critics’ reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. Challengers also holds an audience score of 76% and a “B+” CinemaScore from those attendees coming right out of movie theaters. Moving forward, Challengers might get a bit lost in the summer shuffle. For example, next weekend’s The Fall Guy is forecast to open with somewhere between $20 million and $40 million, according to Boxoffice Pro.

Unsung Hero Settles for No. 2, Challengers Dominates

Lionsgate’s “uplifting” Unsung Hero settles into the No. 2 spot over the weekend as the newcomer makes $7.8 million. Directors Joel Smallbone and Richard Ramsey’s musical drama is receiving harsh reviews from the critics (58% Tomatometer rating), at the time of this writing. However, the film currently holds a perfect 100% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes against 250+ verified ratings. And with another measure of perfection on its side, thanks to its “A+” CinemaScore, fans aren’t letting some rotten reviews get in the way of enjoying Unsung Hero.

No. 3 goes to some familiar faces as the kaijus continue their dominating team-up in Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire. The latest entry in Legendary’s MonsterVerse made another $7.2 million over the weekend en route to a worldwide total of $519.4 million. Last week’s No. 1 film, Civil War, slides all the way to No. 4 with $7 million, while Universal’s horror flick Abigail rounds out the Top 5 with $5.3 million.


Challengers’ Steamy Three-Way Kiss Almost Didn’t Make the Cut, Cast Addresses the Film’s Exhilarating Ending

While Challengers’ emotional ending is still being debated, the infamous three-way kiss almost didn’t even end up in the movie.

Bill Skarsgård’s new movie Boy Kills World likely won’t crack the Top 10, but the 45th anniversary screening of Alien (1979) is actually on pace to generate enough revenue to scare up somewhere between $1.5 million and $1.78 million. Even the lower end of those numbers would land Alien at No. 10 — leaving Boy Kills World out in the cold.

This weekend’s highest per-theater average goes to No. 1
with $4,317 per cinema.

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