Zendaya’s ‘Challengers’ tops box office with $15 million


“Challengers” took the top spot at the box office this weekend drawing in $15 million, about what was expected of the R-rated tennis drama, according to multiple reports, though the trend of a slow box office continued.
“Challengers” will likely become filmmaker Luca Guadagnino’s top-grossing domestic film by mid-week following its $15 million weekend debut. © 2023 METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER PICTURES INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Key facts
  • “Challengers”—starring Zendaya, Josh O’Connor and Mike Faist—opened in 3,477 theaters across the U.S. and Canada this weekend after bringing in about $1.9 million in Thursday previews, Variety reported.
  • The movie has received largely positive reviews, garnering an 87% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes.
  • “Unsung Hero,” a faith-based movie starring Daisy Betts, took the second spot at the box office this weekend with about $7.8 million, according to the Hollywood Reporter, which was above the $5 million to $6 million it was expected to bring in.
  • The third spot went to “Godzilla x Kong,” which brought in an estimated $7.2 million in its fifth weekend in theaters, multiple outlets reported.
Surprising fact

Movies starring Zendaya made up more than a quarter of the box office this weekend as “Dune: Part Two” was rereleased in iMax, according to the Associated Press. The “Dune” sequel reportedly brought in about $2 million over the weekend.

What to watch for

With its $15 million opening, “Challengers” will likely become director Luca Guadagnino’s top-grossing movie domestically by mid-week, beating out “Call Me By Your Name,” which had a domestic total of $18 million, according to Box Office Mojo.

Key background

“Challengers” follows the fictional story of Tashi Duncan (Zendaya), a tennis star who becomes a coach after an injury, who is trying to help her husband (Faist) become a grand-slam champion.

The movie was originally scheduled for release in fall of 2023, but faced delays from the SAG-AFTRA strike and was pushed to this spring, Deadline reported.

This article was first published on forbes.com and all figures are in USD.

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