Box Office Predictions: Zendaya to top the charts with Challengers

In the last quiet frame before the summer movie season kicks into high gear, Zendaya’s Challengers should manage an easy win.

challengers movie review

This weekend marks the last quiet at the box office before summer movie season kicks off with The Fall Guy. As such, it’s expected to be a relatively quiet weekend, with nothing expected to make a debut over the mid-to-high teens. Luca Guadagnino’s Challengers is expected to notch an easy win, thanks to the solid reviews (including our own) and the fact that it features one of the biggest stars of the moment, Zendaya. I’m expecting a debut in the $17 million-ish range, which would be a decent start for distributors Amazon-MGM, who will put the film out on Prime Video before too long. 

Originally, Challengers was set for a fall 2023 start, but it was delayed because of the SAG-AFTRA strike. One could understand why, as Zendaya wouldn’t have been available to promote a movie which is earning her rave reviews. While the delay may cost it a chance at Oscar attention (April releases rarely figure into the race), it should help the movie get a box office boost, with Zendaya’s star on the rise since the blockbuster success of Dune: Part Two.

Lionsgate/Kingdom Story Company’s Christian biopic, Unsung Hero, should play well enough to its target audience to open in second place with about $9 million. It’s the true story of the Smallbone family, who are huge in the Christian music world. These movies tend to open better than expected and pull in audiences via word-of-mouth, similar to other Kingdom Story films like Jesus Revolution and I Can Only Imagine.

The rest of the top five should mostly consist of holdovers, with Abigail and Civil War battling it out for third place and a roughly $6 million finish. This might be too close to call, but I’m giving it to Civil War. The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare should manage about $3 million in fifth place. Newcomer Boy Kills World is expected to open well outside of the top 5, with a debut in the $2 million-ish range. It’ll find a bigger audience when it hits streaming (we loved it).

  1. Challengers: $17 million
  2. Unsung Hero: $9 million
  3. Civil War: $6 million
  4. Abigail: $5 million
  5. Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare: $3 million

Are you going to see Challengers this weekend? Let us know in the comments!

About the Author

Chris Bumbray began his career with JoBlo as the resident film critic (and James Bond expert) way back in 2007, and he has stuck around ever since, being named editor-in-chief in 2021. A voting member of the CCA and a Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic, you can also catch Chris discussing pop culture regularly on CTV News Channel.