Zendaya Serves Up a Winning Weekend at the Box Office

MGM’s romantic tennis drama “Challengers” aced the North American box office this weekend, according to industry watcher Exhibitor Relations. The film raked in an estimated $15 million, fueled by positive reviews and Zendaya’s powerful performance.

“This is a strong opening for a romance and sports drama,” said analyst David A. Gross, praising Zendaya’s star power and director Luca Guadagnino’s talent (known for “Call Me By Your Name”). Gross called it “the right material with the right director, featuring the right star at the right time.”

In “Challengers,” Zendaya portrays a former tennis prodigy who helps her husband train for a crucial match against a player with a complicated history with both of them. The film’s success highlights Zendaya’s athleticism as well. She reportedly trained with tennis pro Brad Gilbert for three months, impressing director Guadagnino so much that he rarely needed to use footage of a stunt double.

Lionsgate’s faith-based drama “Unsung Hero” debuted in second place with an estimated $7.8 million. The film follows a music promoter who relocates his family to the U.S. after a business setback. Filled with faith and a touch of reality, the movie explores themes of family, resilience, and the power of community.

Warner Bros.’ monster mashup “Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire” held onto third place for the second weekend in a row, adding $7.2 million to its total. This time, the giant ape and radioactive reptile team up to save their own species, and possibly humanity.

A24’s dystopian thriller “Civil War” dropped to fourth place, earning $7 million. The unsettling film stars Kirsten Dunst as a photojournalist navigating a violent near-future America as she seeks to interview a controversial leader.

Rounding out the top five is Universal’s horror flick “Abigail,” which fell two spots with $5.3 million. The film follows a seemingly ordinary 12-year-old girl who turns out to be a killer vampire, much to the dismay of her kidnappers.

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