'The Fall Guy' Headed Toward $28M Debut

The Fall Guy is kicking off summer movie season with a No. 1 debut at the box office this weekend, but it’s coming in below initial tracking. After earning $10.4 million on Friday, the feature is now projected to open to $28 million for the weekend, down from earlier tracking that had it in the $30-$35 million range.

The film earned an A- CinemaScore from audiences, so it’s possible word of mouth could help the movie make up ground in the coming weeks. The Fall Guy is said to have a net budget of $130 million when accounting for incentives for shooting in Australia. Overseas, it is projected to take in another $25.8 million over the weekend, which would bring its global haul to $65.4 million. (It already opened in some markets last week.)

David Leitch, the stuntman who over the past decade has become an in-demand director, is behind the project. Ryan Gosling leads the cast as a stuntman who must track down the star of a movie that has gone missing. Emily Blunt plays the director of the feature, and she also happens to be the ex of Gosling’s character, with the action-heavy movie also featuring romance as well. Aaron Taylor-Johnson appears as the missing movie star, with the cast also including Winston Duke, Hannah Waddingham and Stephanie Hsu. After premiering at South by Southwest in March, the film has an 83 percent critics score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Universal has marketed the feature as a love letter to Hollywood and the stunt community, staging a stunt-heavy premiere, fight-centric TV appearances and a theme park show. The feature, based on the 1980s TV show, comes at the height of Gosling’s popularity, following his Oscar-nominated performance as Ken in last summer’s Barbie, and breakout moments at the Oscars and on Saturday Night Live. Leitch and his 87North banner, which he runs with wife and producing partner Kelly McCormick, is known for its influential stunt work on their films, such as Atomic Blonde, Deadpool 2, The Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw and Bullet Train.

Amazon MGM Studios’ Challengers is holding in strong in its second weekend, falling just 42 percent for a projected second-place finish of $8.7 million for a cume of $30.5 million. Zendaya, Josh O’Connor and Mike Faist star in the sexy tennis drama.

The weekend’s other new offering is the horror feature Tarot from Sony’s Screen Gems. It hails from directors Spenser Cohen and Anna Halberg, and centers on a group of seven friends who accidentally unleash an evil entity trapped in a deck of cursed Tarot cards. Audiences gave it a low C- CinemaScore, while critics bestowed it an 8 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s expected to come in fourth with $6.3 million, behind a re-release of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, which is back in theaters for its 25th anniversary as well as the Star Wars-centric May the Fourth holiday. It’s expected to bring in $7.5 million.

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