“Challengers” Demolishes Competition with $15 Million Opening

Mike Faist, Zendaya, and Josh O'Connor in
Mike Faist, Zendaya, and Josh O'Connor in "Challengers"

Challengers is one of the buzziest new films to come out this spring, and it’s getting credit where credit is due. After premiering to rave reviews, Luca Guadagnino’s tennis drama demolished the competition to top the domestic box office with a $15 million opening.

Directed by Call Me By Your Name’s Luca Guadagnino, Challengers chronicles the rise and fall of the former tennis protégé Tashi (Zendaya). A bright future was ahead of her before an injury derailed her career as a professional tennis player, forcing her to turn to coaching instead.

She poured all her energy into helping her husband Art (Mike Faist) become a Grand Slam champion. Once he finds himself in a rut, Tashi decides to sign him up for a low-level event to gain back his confidence, but it turns out he won’t get an easy win because his former best friend and Tashi’s ex Patrick (Josh O’Connor) is also playing.

R-rated original films usually struggle to make a mark at the box office, but that didn’t stop Challengers from serving up a win with a $15 million opening. In addition to topping the domestic box office, it earned $10 million outside of North America.

Challengers was initially slated for the world premiere at the Venice Film Festival last year before shifting its release date to April 26, 2024, due to dual strikes in Hollywood.