Hollywood Movies

Fall Guy Lands with $28.5M, Phantom Menace Strikes Back

May 5, 20243 Mins Read

It was the ‘80s and ‘90s all over again at the weekend box office. Universal’s The Fall Guy, the Ryan Gosling starrer inspired by the 1980s TV show, kicked off the summer movie season at No. 1 with $28.5 million, while Disney’s re-release of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace surprised by coming in at No. 2 with $8.1 million.

Despite The Fall Guy’s No. 1 finish, its haul came in behind initial expectations of $30 million to $35 million, and overall the box office is down dramatically from the same frame a year ago, when Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 bowed to $118.4 million domestically. The weekend is down 53 percent from last year, and off more than 66 percent from 2022, when Marvel’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness opened to $187.4 million domestically.

The Fall Guy is said to have a net budget of $130 million after tax incentives for shooting in Australia. Universal will now hope that Fall Guy’s A- CinemaScore from audiences will help it make up ground in the coming weeks with word of mouth. It also boasts strong reviews out of South by Southwest.

The feature hails from stuntman-turned director David Leitch, and has been marketed as a love letter to the stunt community. Gosling, at the height of his star power thanks to his Oscar-nominated turn as Ken in Barbie, fronts the picture as a beaten down stuntman who comes out of retirement to try to find a missing A-list star and save a film (which happens to be directed by his ex, played by Emily Blunt). The feature has a global cume of $65.4 globally.

Phantom Menace‘s weekend is a nice turn of events for the film. It kicked off George Lucas’ Star Wars prequel trilogy in 1999, and for years after, was a punchline for audiences and Star Wars fans, but has grown in appreciation in the decades since, with younger fans who grew up on the film coming into adulthood, and star Ewan McGregor reprising his role of Obi-Wan Kenobi for his own Disney+ series in 2022, helping further build nostalgia for the film. It returned to theaters as part of the film’s 25th anniversary, as well as for May the 4th, the unofficial Star Wars holiday.

The Phantom Menace edged out Amazon MGM Studios’ sexy tennis drama Challengers for No. 2. The Luca Guadagnino feature had a solid hold in weekend two, dropping just 49 percent for a weekend gross of $7.6 million and a cume of $29.4 million. Zendaya, Josh O’Connor and Mike Faist star.

Sony and Screen Gem’s Tarot bowed in its first weekend to $6.5 million, a solid start considering the feature cost $8 million and did not have a traditional marketing campaign. Sony embarked on its first digital-only campaign for the feature, meaning no TV spots or billboards for the feature, which seven friends who accidentally unleash an evil entity trapped in a deck of cursed Tarot cards. Neither critics nor audiences embraced this one. It has an 8 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, while audiences gave it a low C- CinemaScore. It has a global haul of $10.2 million.

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