Weekend Box Office: Challengers scores an easy win; Boy Kills World slaughtered by Alien re-release
Weekend Box Office: Challengers scores an easy win; Boy Kills World slaughtered by Alien re-release

Challengers scored an easy victory this weekend while Boy Kills World fell prey to a 45-year-old xenomorph

As expected, Luca Guadagnino’s Challengers scored an easy win this weekend, with a $15 million weekend, just a touch softer than we predicted earlier this week. The tennis-cantered love triangle was no doubt boosted by Zendaya’s star power, with her hotter than ever in the wake of Dune: Part Two’s blockbuster showing this winter. IMAX screens were dominated by Zendaya in one form or another, with both Challengers and Dune 2 playing in the format this weekend thanks to the latter’s re-release. 

Notably, the film posted Guadagnino’s best box office opening to date, with the weekend total more than doubling the total take of his previous biggest opener, Bones and All. It’ll be interesting to see if Challengers can hold up in the coming weeks, with The Fall Guy opening next weekend and Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes opening the weekend after. With the summer movie season kicking off, one wonders whether the Euphoria star’s fans will come out to see Challengers on the big screen, with it an Amazon-MGM production that will eventually run on Prime Video. Some folks may opt to wait out its streaming release, where it will no doubt become much-memed in the way their last really racy movie, Saltburn, did when it hit the streaming service over the Christmas holidays.

In second place, the Christian music biopic Unsung Hero had a mild $7.7 million opening. But, the film also posted an A+ CinemaScore, so it’s possible the targeted Christian audience may turn this into a word-of-mouth hit, similar to the recent Jesus Revolution. Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire also held up quite well in its fifth week of release, making $7.2 million, declining a mere 25% from last weekend. With a running North American total of $181 million, this will easily crack the $200 million mark (maybe more). A24’s Civil War dropped to fourth place with just over $7 million, losing its IMAX screens to Challengers. It now has a North American total of $56 million, making it A24’s second-biggest grosser of all time behind Everything Everywhere All At Once. It seems unlikely that this film will beat that total of $77.2 million, but nevertheless, this is a great showing for Alex Garland’s speculative war flick.

Abigail, cameo

Radio Silence’s Abigail came in fifth with a $5.2 million weekend. The good news is that it only dropped 49% from last weekend, but the bad news is that the opening was widely considered a huge disappointment. With a total of $18 million, it seems unlikely this will end with much over $25 million domestically, making it a film that will likely find more of an audience when it hits Peacock several weeks from now.

Guy Ritchie’s The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare also had a hard time holding on to its audience this weekend, making a modest $3.8 million for a total of just over $15 million. As I noted last week, this movie has an oddball release, with it not playing theatrically in Canada or the UK, where Prime Video has the rights (the film hasn’t been dated yet), thus limiting its chance at making a dent at the box office. 

Seventh, eighth, and ninth place went to holdovers, with Kung Fu Panda 4 and Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire battling it out for the family audience and posting weekends in the $3 million-plus range. Against all odds, Frozen Empire held up better than anyone expected at the box office. However, it will undoubtedly finish quite a bit shy of Ghostbusters: Afterlife’s $129 million domestic result. Dune: Part Two got a bit of a boost this weekend thanks to an IMAX re-release, although it also hit digital recently, so the $1.9 million total is a touch soft. It’s a bit shy of grossing $280 million at the box office. While it will fall short of a $300 million finish, the movie is still considered a pretty major blockbuster. 

alien boy kills world box office

However, the outlook was much less rosy for Boy Kills World, which imploded at the box office. ComScore has this movie opening in 10th place with a $1.6 million opening. However, Deadline has the film in 11th place, with them stating that the re-release of Ridley Scott’s Alien (celebrating its 45th anniversary) actually outgrossed it with a $1.8 million weekend. Whatever this case, this is a bad result for the would-be franchise starter, which will undoubtedly make a bigger dent on streaming. Notably, the film went through some post-production drama following its TIFF Midnight Madness debut in the fall, so it’ll be interesting to see if any alternate cuts ever see the light of day in the wake of its poor box office showing.

Did you see anything in theaters this weekend? Let us know in the comments!

Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/weekend-box-office-challengers/

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SBS editor