Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Box Office: “Challengers” Gets the Ball Just Over the Net with Zendaya’s Plot-Challenged Sexy Tennis Mis-Match


“Challengers” proved a little challenging last night at the box office.

The Zendaya tennis menage a trois made $1.9 million last night in previews, including earlier screenings. It’s good but not great and points to maybe an ambivalent audience response.

This rom-dram co-stars Josh O’Connor and Mike Faist best guy friends who are maybe a little gay-ish. They fall in love with Zendaya on the tennis court. There’s a lot of sex, sex, sex. I thought the young demo audience would rush to see it.

“Challengers” should be promoted for the sex and the young people, and to Zendaya’s audience. The stars have done a ton of press. There may have been a New York premiere.

Look for a $14 million opening weekend unless word of mouth is great and “Challengers” takes off like a soaring tennis ball over the weekend. One reason it might not — and I saw this on Twitter reports over night — the time line of the film is very hard to follow. Every other scene has a card that reads “Ten Years Earlier,” “Fifteen Years Earlier,” “Three Days from Now.” It’s worse than “Lost’!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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