‘Challengers’ Tops U.S. Box Office Opening With $15 Million, Marking Zendaya's Biggest Live-Action Original Film

This marks director Luca Guadagnino's top-grossing movie domestically, beating out 'Call Me By Your Name.'

Zendaya in a sleeveless top smiling to the side; movie poster of "Challengers" featuring close-up of a woman with sunglasses
Weiss Eubanks/SYNDICATION via Getty Images, Amazon MGM
Zendaya in a sleeveless top smiling to the side; movie poster of "Challengers" featuring close-up of a woman with sunglasses

Zendaya‘s latest movie, Challengers, made a splash during its opening weekend.

The Amazon MGM Studios’ film opened on Friday and it has since generated $15 million at the box office, making it the largest ever for Oscar-nominated director Luca Guadagnino, Deadline reports. It’s also a major milestone for Zendaya, 27, who achieved her best box office performance in a live-action, original, non-IP movie.

As reported by the publication, Challengers’ success surpassed Guadagnino’s last film, the Timothée Chalamet-led Bones and All, which saw $7.8 million throughout its entire run. 

Disregarding any of her Spider-Man or Dune films, Deadline notes that Challengers helped Zendaya outgross 2017’s The Greatest Showman’s $8.8 million Christmas weekend opener.

The romantic tennis drama film, which also stars Mike Faist and Josh O’Connor, opened at the top spot of the box office chart over the weekend. Trailing behind is Unsung Hero with $7.75 million for its opening weekend and Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire at $7.2 million after its fifth weekend.

As noted by Vulture, Challengers still has a chance to recoup its $55 million budget in the coming weeks before the summer box office season. However, the premiere of The Fall Guy with Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt could definitely make for some friendly competition at the box office.

In Challengers, a pro tennis player named Tashi (Zendaya) finds herself in a love-triangle with her current husband, Art (Faist), and former boyfriend, Patrick (O’Connor), according to People

Team Art or Team Patrick? #CHALLENGERS 🎾 pic.twitter.com/7IO6FIDlqM

— Complex Pop Culture (@ComplexPop) April 27, 2024
Twitter: @ComplexPop

Per the film’s official synopsis, it follows “three players who knew each other when they were teenagers as they compete in a tennis tournament to be the world-famous grand slam winner and reignite old rivalries on and off the court.”

The film also got some unwarranted attention from an unofficial poster over the weekend. The unofficial artwork split the film’s title into "CHALLE" and "NGERS" and stacked it vertically. 

Fake 'Challengers' Poster Going Viral and People Are Going Crazy Over It https://t.co/OV4cLP3RxM

— Complex Pop Culture (@ComplexPop) April 27, 2024
Twitter: @ComplexPop

The second portion of the title, which had many social media users thinking it was alluding to the N-word, inspired outcry and all kinds of jokes online.

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