Zendaya Fans Rush to Challengers

Exit poll shows 55% of audience was drawn by the star
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 28, 2024 12:30 PM CDT
Challengers Opens No. 1
This image released by Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures shows Zendaya, left, and Josh O'Connor in a scene from "Challengers."   (Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures via AP)

The sexy tennis drama Challengers won the box office this weekend with $15 million in ticket sales, according to studio estimates Sunday. Zendaya and castmates Mike Faist and Josh O'Connor have been on a globetrotting press tour promoting Italian director Luca Guadagnino's original film, which opened in 3,477 locations in the US and Canada. Ticket sales from large-format screens, including IMAX, made up about 40% of the weekend grosses. According to PostTrak exit poll reported by Deadline, 55% of audiences said they went to see the film because of Zendaya. In fact, this weekend, Zendaya movies accounted for around 26% of the overall box office with the rerelease of Dune: Part Two in IMAX.

Reviews have been largely positive for Challengers, which teases a steamy and competitive love triangle among the tennis players. It has an 88% on Rotten Tomatoes and got a B+ CinemaScore from opening day audiences. Second place went to the faith-based film Unsung Hero. It's based on the true story of the Smallbone family and the rise of Rebecca St. James and sons Joel and David (for KING + COUNTRY) in the country music scene. The Lionsgate film scored a rare A+ CinemaScore and has a 100% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. The critic's score is a much more tempered 58%.

Below are estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at US and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.

  1. Challengers, $15 million.
  2. Unsung Hero, $7.8 million.
  3. Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, $7.2 million.
  4. Civil War, 7 million.
  5. Abigail, $5.3 million.
  6. The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare, $3.9 million
  7. Kung Fu Panda 4, $3.6 million.
  8. Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire, $3.3 million.
  9. Dune: Part Two, $2 million.
  10. Boy Kills World, $1.7 million.
(More box office stories.)

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