Zendaya’s New Unhinged Movie Gets an Abrupt Slap in Box Office

Zendaya’s New Unhinged Movie Gets an Abrupt Slap in Box Office
Image credit: Legion-Media, Amazon MGM Studios

All the heavy marketing probably didn’t work out that well.


  • Zendaya ’s highly anticipated romantic sports drama has finally hit the cinemas after a long run of social media PR campaigns, but the first results are not that glowing.
  • The movie that, except for Zendaya, stars Josh O’Connor and Mike Faist was earlier projected to garner an unfathomable amount of money in the domestic box office.
  • The film’s successful start that later turned into something a bit disappointing may be due to various marketing mistakes.

Zendaya’s brand new romantic sports drama Challengers has been at everyone’s hearing pretty much before the movie finally hit the cinemas last week. The film also starring The Crown ’s star Josh O’Connor and Mike Faist eventually made all the hype in social media work for itself and didn’t take much time to dethrone Alex Garland ’s post-apocalyptic hit Civil War from the box office top.

Though all the stars seem to still align for Challengers’ blast as the movie started its theatrical run only several days ago, some earlier predictions for its success show that it actually could’ve done better.

According to earlier reports that were released ahead of Challengers’ world premiere in theaters, the movie was projected to gross at least $20 million in the domestic run while the international numbers were supposed to ultimately cement Luca Guadagnino’s drama’s hit status.

Zendaya’s New Unhinged Movie Gets an Abrupt Slap in Box Office - image 1

As it turns out, not everything is about the omnipresent marketing: the most recent data shows that Challengers managed to garner $15 million in the American box office with the international gross being even more disappointing reaching only $10 million during the opening weekend.

That’s probably not what Challengers counted on, given that the movie’s budget went up to $55 million, 10 of which were given straight to Zendaya. Apart from that, it’s fair to say that the unhinged drama kicked it off with a really good start landing a perfect score of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes ahead of its theatrical release on April 26.

Now, after both critics and viewers had some time to ponder over it, Challengers’ rating decreased to 88% from professionals and 76% from the moviegoers. On top of that, foreign reviews don’t make the situation any better given that AlloCine, aka French Rotten Tomatoes, attributed the movie a score of only 3.3.

Leaving aside the fact that Challengers’ massive marketing tricks have been haunting everyone in social media against their will, the movie cunningly deluded its potential viewers into believing that its R rating was justified while in fact it wasn’t.

Challengers’ PR campaign has been clear about its “menage à trois” status all along tempting everyone with the desire to see Zendaya involved in a steamy love triangle with attractive co-stars.

Zendaya’s New Unhinged Movie Gets an Abrupt Slap in Box Office - image 2

Though there are no reasons to believe that Challengers will end up being a total fiasco as the movie still has all chances to at least break even, the whole dream about it being the box office absolute bombshell keeps fading as the summer movie season is approaching very fast.

Next week will mark the release of Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt ’s comedy The Fall Guy — and then we’ll probably get to see how the tables will turn.

Source: World of Reel