'The Fall Guy' Flops in Box Office Debut With $27.7 Million, While Tarot Exceeds Projections With $6.5 Million

As the summer movie season gets underway, Hollywood studios are hoping for bigger things than the relatively modest box office debuts of the weekend of May 5, 2023. The big-budget action comedy The Fall Guy, starring Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt, was projected to earn around $30 million to $40 million in its opening weekend in 4,002 theaters domestically, but underperformed with $27.7 million in ticket sales. This was lower than the projections of $30 million to $35 million from Deadline and The Hollywood Reporter. Even if it had met those expectations, this would still be a pale comparison to last year's summer opener, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which earned $118.4 million domestically from May 5-7, 2023.

The Fall Guy's production budget was reported to be $125 million by The Numbers, though Variety reported a higher $140 million. Even if the budget was the lower amount, the $27.7 million total is not a great start for the movie, and it will need much more success in the coming weeks and months to make up for it.

The good news for The Fall Guy is its international business, which reportedly made $36.7 million in ticket sales over the weekend, contributing to a worldwide total of $64.4 million. A representative from the Franchise Entertainment Research consulting firm told Variety that action comedies tend to perform well overseas, and with "this cast, foreign business should be good."

The other new wide release this weekend was the horror thriller Tarot, which outperformed expectations to debut at No. 4 with $6.5 million in 3,104 theaters. This was better than the projected range of $5 million to $6 million from Deadline. With an estimated $8 million production budget, Tarot will likely turn a profit before The Fall Guy does. With $3.7 million in ticket sales overseas, the film ended the weekend with $10.2 million at the worldwide box office.

The rest of the top five consisted of two holdovers and one re-release. Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace was re-released in theaters to celebrate the film's 25th anniversary on the unofficial Star Wars holiday, May the 4th Be With You. It earned $8.7 million at the domestic box office for a No. 2 finish, bringing its lifetime North American total to $483.2 million. When you add in international ticket sales over the past 20 years, The Phantom Menace's lifetime worldwide gross stands at a massive $1.035 million.

Zendaya's provocative tennis romance film Challengers stayed at No. 3 for a second week in a row, bringing in $7.5 million in 3,477 theaters to bring its domestic tally to $29.4 million. When you add in $23 million in international ticket sales, Challengers has earned $52.4 million worldwide to date.

Finally, behind Tarot, was Godzilla X Kong: The New Empire, which sold $4.5 million in ticket sales to bring its domestic tally to $188.1 million in its sixth week of release. Combined with $359.1 million in international ticket sales, the latest MonsterVerse chapter's worldwide tally stands at $547.2 million.

With the start of the summer movie season, Disney also decided to re-release Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl to promote the upcoming release of Pirates of the Caribbean: Revenge of the Abyss, which comes out on June 24. 2022.

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