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'The Fall Guy' Gives Hollywood a Muted Kickoff to Summer with $28.5 Million Opening –

'The Fall Guy' Gives Hollywood a Muted Kickoff to Summer with $28.5 Million Opening –


NEW YORK (AP) The Fall Guy, the Ryan Gosling-led action comedy and ode to stuntmen, opened below expectations with $28.5 million, according to studio estimates Sunday, delivering a lukewarm start to a summer cinema season which promises to be highly anticipated. determined for Hollywood.

The Universal Pictures release opened on a weekend that Marvel has consistently dominated with $100 million-plus debuts. (In 2023, it was Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 with a $118 million debut.) But last year's strikes scrambled this year's movie calendar; Deadpool & Wolverine, originally scheduled to open this weekend, will debut in July.

So instead of a superhero kickoff, the summer launch was devoted to a movie about stuntmen who anonymously sacrifice their bodies for the kind of action sequences that blockbusters are built on. Going into the weekend, forecasts called for the film to open between $30 million and $40 million.

The Fall Guy, directed by former Deadpool 2 stuntman and director David Leitch, opened the weekend with the momentum of rave reviews and the buzz of a SXSW premiere. But it will need sustained interest to merit its $130 million production budget. This added $25.4 million in overseas markets.

Working in its favor in the long run: good audience scores (an A-CinemaScore) and good reviews (83% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes). Jim Orr, head of distribution at Universal, thinks things are lining up well for The Fall Guy in the coming weeks.

We had a very strong opening, Orr said. We're looking forward to a very long, very strong, very successful series at the domestic box office for literally weeks, if not months.

But The Fall Guy's modest beginning hints at bigger concerns for the film industry. Superhero movies aren't as successful at the box office as they once were, leading studios to look for a fresher alternative. The Fall Guy seemed to check all the boxes, with over-the-top action sequences, one of the hottest stars in the business, a director with a proven track record of crowd-pleasing, and great reviews.

But instead, the opening of The Fall Guy, loosely based on the 1980s TV series, only served to highlight that the film industry will likely have a hard time reviving the Barbenheimer summer fervor of Last year. The Fall Guy stars one of each: Gosling, in his first role after Ken, and Oppenheimer's Emily Blunt. Both were nominated for Oscars.

Summer is shaping up to be very interesting and non-traditional this year, said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore.

Partly because of the effects of last year's work stoppages, there are fewer big films hitting theaters. Total summer box office is expected to be closer to $3 billion than the $4 billion historically generated.

The summer season is just getting started, so let's give The Fall Guy a chance to build that momentum over time. It's a different type of summer kickoff movie, Dergarabedian said. There are always huge expectations placed on any film that kicks off the summer movie season, but this isn't your typical summer movie season.

To everyone's surprise, second place at the box office went to the Walt Disney Co.'s re-release of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. The first installment of George Lucas's little-loved prequels grossed $8.1 million during the weekend, 25 years after Phantom Menace grossed $1 billion.

Last week's top film, Zendaya tennis drama Challengers, slipped to third place with $7.6 million in its second week. This is a sold-out take for the Amazon MGM release, directed by Luca Guadagnino, down 49% from its opening weekend.

Sony Screen Gems' supernatural horror film Tarot was also released nationwide. It debuted with $6.5 million, a pretty decent start for a low-budget release, but another example of horror not performing as well this year as in recent years.

Estimated ticket sales Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Final national figures will be released on Monday.

1. “The Fall Guy, $28.5 million.

2. Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, $8.1 million.

3. Challengers, $7.6 million.

4. Tarot, $6.5 million.

5. Godzilla x Kong: The New Kingdom, $4.5 million.

6. Civil War, $3.6 million.

7. Unsung Hero, $3 million.

8. Kung Fu Panda 4, $2.4 million.

9. Abigail, $2.3 million.

10. Ghostbuster: Frozen Empire, $1.8 million.




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