The Impact of Amazon MGM Studios’ Challengers and Lionsgate & Kingdom Story’s Unsung Hero

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Amazon MGM Studios’ Challengers, directed by Luca Guadagnino and starring Zendaya, had a promising start with $1.9M in previews. However, this figure fell short by $100K compared to Universal’s Cocaine Bear. The romantic comedy aimed to open to $15M for the weekend. Despite receiving critical acclaim with a 91% certified fresh rating, last night’s audience response was mixed, with a rating of three stars on Screen Engine/Comscore’s PostTrak. The film received 75% positive reviews and a 56% definite recommend.

The audience turnout for Challengers was diverse. Women over 25 accounted for 35% of the audience, while women under 25 made up 25%. Surprisingly, men over 25 comprised 80% of those who enjoyed the movie the most. In terms of age groups, the 25-34 demographic gave the film the highest grades at 80%, with a 37% turnout. Additionally, the 45-54 age group also responded positively, with an 82% grade and a turnout of 4%.

Originally scheduled for a mid-September release, Challengers faced a delay due to the SAG-AFTRA strike. The decision to move the premiere to this weekend was strategic, leveraging Zendaya’s massive global reach through her 184M Instagram followers. Despite the challenges, the film’s performance is expected to reflect the star power of its lead actor.

In parallel, Lionsgate and Kingdom Story’s Unsung Hero, directed by Joel Smallbone and Richard L. Ramsey, made $1.67M in previews. The faith-based film, which earned $470K on the opening day, follows the journey of David Smallbone and his family as he transitions from Australia to the U.S. and becomes a Grammy Award-winning artist. The film, made for $6M before advertising costs, is set to expand to 2,832 sites.

Unsung Hero received positive feedback from early Thursday PostTrak exits, with a five-star rating, a 96% positive response, and an 86% definite recommend. The audience makeup consisted of 66% females and 48% of viewers over 55 years old. The film’s performance goes beyond the preview earnings, including revenue from early advance screenings, indicating a strong interest in its narrative.

Both Challengers and Unsung Hero demonstrate the diverse range of storytelling in contemporary cinema and the audience’s willingness to engage with different genres and themes. The box office performance and audience feedback reflect the dynamic landscape of the film industry, showcasing the impact of compelling narratives and star power in attracting viewers.

Box Office

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