‘The Fall Guy’ Falls Down To $27M+ Opening – Monday Update

MONDAY AM: Universal’s The Fall Guy has tumbled to $27.7M, this after a lower-than-expected Sunday of $6.9M, -33% from Saturday. Global cume is at $64.4M, a $1M off. Some are worried as to what this lower than expected result means for star power, specifically for Gosling coming off Barbie. The 3x Oscar nominated actor did everything to promote Fall Guy, down to dressing up as Beavis at the Hollywood premiere of the film. Look, as we mentioned, Fall Guy is third highest opening of his career stateside, Barbie being an outlier. Moviegoers in a streaming age are far too sophisticated and deliberate before they leave the house and an original Hollywood stunt-set action film wasn’t worth their time. Perhaps Gosling as a different kind of astronaut than he was in First Man is worth the time in Amazon MGM Studios’ Project Hail Mary. In the end, as of late, Gosling can get a movie open to $20M+.

Other things to consider: Fall Guy isn’t a movie that typically fires off summer, it’s a movie you find either in August, the second weekend of June or even the off season, which is where this was originally scheduled on March 1. If the cost was lower here on this original title than the $130M-$150M, we wouldn’t be scrutinizing it so much.

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SUNDAY AM Writethru after Saturday AM Update: Universal’s The Fall Guy isn’t so strong, and nobody is really shocked.

While it was projected to do at least $30M, and it’s coming in at $28.5M, this is the range for original action comedies, even when they star Ryan Gosling. PostTrak exits report he’s 50% of the reason why people went to see the movie (versus 35% for Emily Blunt). Pic took in $25.4M from offshore marketings raising its foreign gross to $36.9M, global to $65.4M.

The opening for Fall Guy is actually on the higher end of Gosling starts, ranked third after anomaly Barbie ($162M) and Blade Runner 2049 ($32.7M), yet further down on Blunt’s. It’s the ninth-best opening of her career stateside, short of Edge of Tomorrow ($28.7M) and Jungle Cruise ($35M with an asterisk – it did have a theatrical day-and-date PVOD on Disney+).

So, what gives? Why is Fall Guy playing like a deflated balloon, even with a great A- CinemaScore and 90% positive on PostTrak?

First, yes, we’re still in an uneven marketplace and won’t be out of it until we have more movies toward the end of the month into June, leading up to Inside Out 2 on Father’s Day weekend. The entire box office weekend is totaling around $73M, off 55% from the same frame a year ago, when Disney/Marvel Studios had Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 leading summer’s charge with $118.4M.

But in Fall Guy, despite how well it plays with audiences (SXSW crowds were belly laughing), there’s nothing that screams “rush to this,” despite Universal showing off the fun and the romance in its campaign. It’s too inside Hollywood, and these types of movies never play to an uber-wide crowd, despite how accessible the studio and filmmakers have tried to make it. “Why do young people want to see this movie?” challenges a film finance source.

Most of all, for an original event film at $130M-$150M+, this movie is too damn expensive.

“They should have spent like Tom Rothman: Make it for $80M. Why is Universal spending the extra money? Instead of spending $220M-$230M between production and marketing costs, they could have pulled this off for $160M-$180M,” added the source.

Some marketing sources are dinging the Fall Guy brand. “Nobody under 60 remembers that show!” However, I don’t think Universal sold the movie on that, and studios have shown before that they can take an antique TV property and turn it into a mega franchise. Hello, Mission: Impossible and Tom Cruise. What Gen Xer had actually watched Mission: Impossible back in the late ’60s? Not me, I wasn’t around then.

Great movies can ascend their brand.

Other sources have critiqued that for those leaving the theater, Fall Guy is a hard movie plot wise for them to describe to others. “It took someone three paragraphs to tell me what the movie was about,” remarked one insider. While that might be true, note that trailers for Fall Guy distilled the movie to its most crystal-clear elements. Also, we can’t ignore the great exits here for the movie. Unfortunately, the masses aren’t falling over themselves to see the Fall Guy.

Evidence that there wasn’t heat on Fall Guy before opening: RelishMix reports that the movie’s social media universe across YouTube, TikTok, X, Instagram and Facebook stood at 266.7M, -33% below action adventure norms, heck, it was even under Argylle‘s 272M.

'Challengers' box office

In addition, Amazon MGM Studios’ Challengers did a have good hold at -49%, meaning they were able to keep some younger women away from the Gosling pic (71% women, 18-24 at 44%). However, the Zendaya tennis rom-com is coming in $1.1M lighter than expected (yesterday pic was at $8.7M) for a $7.6M weekend 2. Women under 25 were the lowest to show up yesterday for Fall Guy at 13%, with men over 25 leading at 38%, women over 25 at 33% (who gave the pic its best grade of 93%) and men under 25 at 16%. Universal is confident that given the exits for Fall Guy, more women will come out in the month ahead as it’s the only choice for that audience in a guy skewing marketplace of Furiosa, Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, and Bad Boys: Ride or Die.

Said Universal Domestic Distribution Boss Jim Orr, “David Leitch and Kelly McCormick have crafted an incredibly entertaining film with The Fall Guy, and clearly audiences agree as evidenced by the film’s exceptionally strong scores. The chemistry between Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt is fantastic and we anticipate audiences will continue to be thrilled by the film for weeks to come.”

Fall Guy‘s best play areas were the West and Mountain regions. AMC Lincoln Square is currently the top-grossing venue for the pic with $91K in the till through Saturday night. IMAX and PLFs are driving 44% of Fall Guy‘s weekend with the former ringing up $3M.

Largest quad for the David Leitch-directed movie is 25-34 at 25%, with diversity demos seeing 52% Caucasian, 25% Latino and Hispanic, 8% Black, 10% Asian, and 5% other.

Universal, given the love for the film among older women, believes it will leg out. Look, $100M domestic isn’t out of the realm of possibility ala Lost City and Bullet Train. But Fall Guy could drop into PVOD by Memorial Day weekend.

With 8% Rotten Tomatoes critical reviews and 52% audience scores, as well as C- CinemaScore and 59% PostTrak on Sony/Screen Gems’ Tarot, you didn’t need a psychic to see that the Culver City lot wasn’t going to spend one more dime in marketing this movie. Hence the $6.5M opening here on this single-digit budgeted title. The PG-13 movie is 52% female leaning, with 18-34 year old repping 67% of the audience. Those 18-24 were the biggest demo at 40%. Diversity demos were 38% Latino and Hispanic, 30% Caucasian, 16% Black, 9% Asian, and 7% other. Tarot‘s best regions are the South, South Central, and Midwest, with the Cinemark Rialto the highest grossing location so far with close to $6K (eek).

Other sundries….

Viva’s Dragonkeeper in Spanish and English opened in 760 theaters with meh grosses for what’s looking like $429K for the weekend. The animated indie kids film is set in ancient China and follows a young girl who must find the last remaining dragon egg and fulfill her destiny.

I Saw The TV Glow movie
I Saw The TV Glow movie

A24’s I Saw the TV Glow from Jane Schoenbrun, about two teenagers who bond over a supernatural TV show, but then it’s mysteriously cancelled, did some good numbers with $54K Friday, $34,6K Saturday from AMC Lincoln Square, Angelika NY, AMC Burbank, and AMC Grove in what’s shaping up to be a $116,3K 3-day, or $29K per theater. Muy bien. Critics love it at 88% certified fresh.

Updated Sunday chart:

1.) Fall Guy (Uni) 4,002 theaters, Fri $10.4M, Sat $10.2M Sun $7.7M 3-day $28.5M/Wk 1

2.) Star Wars The Phantom Menace (20th) 2,700 theaters, Fri $2.4M, Sat $4.6M Sun $1M 3-day $8.1M, Total lifetime $482.6M/Wk 1 re-release
Saturday May the 4th pushed this re-release’s gross higher. In addition, there were $300K in the mix from marathon screenings. A four minute special of Disney+’s The Acolyte was attached to the movie. All in, a $14.5M global weekend. So not part of Disney’s marketing for the trailer, has anyone caught the fan-made AI 1950s Panavision inspired trailers of the Star Wars movies? Here’s Phantom Menace. Freaky deaky:

3.) Challengers (AMZ MGM) 3,477 theaters, Fri $2.5M (-60%), Sat $2.9M Sun $2.1M 3-day $7.6M (-49%)/Total $29.5M/ Wk 2

4.) Tarot (Sony) 3,104 theaters, Fri $2.5M Sat $2.3M Sun $1.6M 3-day $6.5M/Wk 1

5.) Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire (Leg/WB) 2,884 theaters (-428), Fri $1M (-41%) Sat $2M Sun $1.37M 3-day $4.5M (-38%)/Total $188M/ Wk 6

6.) Civil War (A24) 2,689 (-829) theaters, Fri $977K (-49%) Sat $1.5M Sun $1M 3-day $3.55M (-48%), Total $62M/Wk 4

7.) Unsung Hero (LG) 2,832 theaters,Fri $867K (-77%) Sat $1.2M Sun $893K, 3-day $3M (-61%), Total $13.1M/Wk 2

8.) Kung Fu Panda 4 (Uni) 2,380 (-387) theaters, Fri $520K (-38%) Sat $1.1M Sun $740K 3-day $2.4M (-38%), Total $188.3M/Wk 9

9.) Abigail (Uni) 2,638 (-755) theatres, Fri $690K, Sat $1M Sun $600K 3-day $2.3M (-56%)/Total $22.7M/Wk 3

10.) Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire (Sony) 2,025 (-602) theaters, Fri $405K (-49%) Sat $865K Sun $530K 3-day $1.8M (-45%), Total $109.9M/Wk 7

FRIDAY MIDDAY: Universal’s The Fall Guy is coming in a little light right now at $10.4M today, including previews, for what’s looking like a $28M opening at 4,002 theaters, below its $35M projection.

Many aren’t shocked: This is where action comedies open, and Fall Guy isn’t that far from the $30M starts of Paramount 2022 adventure rom-com The Lost City and David Leitch’s previous movie, 2022’s Bullet Train. But damn, was Fall Guy, for this concept, expensive at $130M after Australian tax credits. Some have heard the production cost was even higher at $150M.

Fall Guy already has $8.4M-plus in the bank from a 38-market rollout last weekend including Australia, Turkey, Netherlands and Spain. The movie goes into 40-plus markets this weekend including UK & Ireland, Germany, France and Mexico.

No RT audience score yet.

Amazon MGM Studios’ Challengers is booked at 3,477 theaters and eyeing $2.55M in its second Friday, -59%, for a 3-day around $8.75M, -42%, for a running cume of $30.5M.

Third place goes to 20th Century Studios/Lucasfilm/Disney’s Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace at 2,700 locations for a $2.65M Friday, $8.5M 3-day.

RELATED: ‘The Fall Guy’ Review: A Highflying Tribute To Hollywood’s Unsung Stunt Heroes – SXSW

Sony/Screen Gems’ Tarot booked at 3,104 locations is seeing a $2.4M Friday, 3-day of $6M. Per social media monitor RelishMix, the social universe at 88.6M for this horror pic is running 39% under first installment horror genre norms across TikTok, Facebook, X, YouTube and Instagram combined.

Legendary/Warner Bros.’ Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire in weekend 6 at 2,884 sites is seeing $3.8M, -47%, after a $1M Friday. Running total is $187.4M by Sunday.

FRIDAY AM: Universal teed off summer Thursday night with the Ryan Gosling-Emily Blunt action comedy The Fall Guy, which made $3.15M from showtimes that began at 5 p.m. and Wednesday advance screenings. The movie is only expected to do around $35M for the weekend, maybe $40M. That’s not your typical start to summer, but we’re in this predicament due to the strikes’ delay on feature films.

RELATED: ‘The Fall Guy’ Trailer: Ryan Gosling Cries To Taylor Swift In New Take On ’80s TV Hit

Preview-wise that start is right near Paramount’s 2022 adventure rom-com Lost City, which did $3.2M before a $30.4M opening and a $105.3M domestic final.

The most recent release date for The Fall Guy had been March 1, but Universal pushed it to this weekend after Disney and Marvel Studios moved Deadpool & Wolverine to end of July — which some now view as the true start of summer.

Universal believed big time in The Fall Guy, bringing it down to SXSW in Austin for a world premiere where audiences laughed their asses off. This was followed by a screening at the onset of CinemaCon for exhibitors with a stunt-filled Hollywood premiere on Tuesday night. The anticipation is that the Gosling factor of The Fall Guy will keep pulling women to theaters. Also, the movie, despite its insider Hollywood vibe, has a sensibility of yesteryear ’70s/’80s action titles — ones that used to conquer the middle of the country, read Smokey and the Bandit and Every Which Way but Loose.

RELATED: Summer Box Office Pines For $3 Billion: ‘Garfield’ Could Scratch ‘Furiosa’, ‘Beetlejuice 2’ Might See Best Opening Just Outside Of Season & Other Zany Forecasts

Reviews for this PG-13 movie are very respectable at 85% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. The Fall Guy, which cost $130M before P&A, expands to 4,002 theaters with PLFs and Imax.

Sony/Screen Gems’ young-female-skewing Tarot from filmmakers Spenser Cohen and Anna Halberg was made for $8M and only expected to do $5M-$6M. It made $715K on Thursday from showtimes that began at 4 p.m. in 2,744 locations. Here’s the blurb for the PG-13 movie, which RT critics jinxed at 9% Rotten: When a group of friends recklessly violates the sacred rule of Tarot readings, they unknowingly unleash an unspeakable evil trapped within the cursed cards. One by one, they come face to face with fate and end up in a race against death.

Also getting re-released this weekend is Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace from Disney. This is to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the prequel timed to May the Fourth aka Star Wars Day. Disney will be showing the pic in 2,600 domestic theaters, including 150 Premium Large Format screens and 130 specialty motion D-Box/4D auditoriums. Advance sales have been solid since launching on March 22, peaking this weekend. The 40th anniversary re-release of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi opened to $5.1M 3-day about this time last year. The Phantom Menace will be paired with an exclusive sneak peek of the upcoming Star Wars series The Acolyte, which premieres June 4 on Disney+.

Amazon MGM Studios’ Luca Guadagnino-directed Zendaya movie Challengers ends Week 1 with $21.8M after a $1.3M Thursday, -7% from Wednesday at 3,477. It will keep a few Imax screens this weekend.

Lionsgate’s Unsung Hero is second for the week with $10.1M after a $465K Thursday, even with Wednesday at 2,832 locations.

Legendary/Warner Bros’ fifth week of Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire clocked $9.1M at 3,312 venues after a $370K Thursday, -8% from Wednesday. The pic’s running cume is $183.5M.

A24’s third week of Alex Garland’s Civil War did $9M at 3,518 venues after a $480K Thursday, -9% from Wednesday.

Universal’s Radio Silence horror movie Abigail, booked at 3,393 locations, ends Week 2 with $7M after a $323K Thursday, -19%, for a running total of $20.5M.

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