“The Fall Guy ”doesn’t stick the landing, debuts to only $28 million despite Ryan Gosling’s best efforts

The action-comedy from "John Wick" director David Leitch also stars Emily Blunt.

After weeks of Ryan Gosling doing parkour, singing along to breakup anthems, and making not-so-subtle Ken references, The Fall Guy has arrived in theaters… with a lackluster debut.

The Universal action comedy kicked off the summer movie box office with a disappointing $28.5 million domestic opening, per Comscore. While it managed to snag the #1 spot for the weekend, it didn’t fare much better overseas where the film earned $25.4 million bringing its global tally to $65.4 million.

The Fall Guy stars Gosling as Colt Seavers, a beaten down stuntman who comes out of retirement to save a movie directed by his ex. Helmed by stuntman-turned director David Leitch (of John Wick and Deadpool 2 fame), the film enjoyed a steady momentum of hype: not only is Gosling is fresh off his Oscar-nominated role as Barbie's Ken, he stars alongside Emily Blunt, still relishing in Oppenheimer acclaim.

<p>Universal Pictures</p> Ryan Gosling in 'The Fall Guy'

Universal Pictures

Ryan Gosling in 'The Fall Guy'

Between the promise of an action-packed thriller and the sheer starpower of the Barbenheimer duo, the film arrived to high expectations. In addition to the action and movie making meta-fun, the film promises a sweeping romance between its two stars:  "Their chemistry is as good as you see in the trailer," Leitch told EW. "It's undeniable."

The Fall Guy didn’t face much competition at this weekend’s box office, with second place going to an unexpected (and familiar) title: Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the prequel drew in fans far and wide, earning $8.1 million domestically with its return to theaters, for a worldwide gross of $14.4 million.

Back in 1999, the film kicked off George Lucas’ controversial Star Wars prequel trilogy. While initially poorly received, appreciation for the film has grown in recent years — especially now that the lore has expanded, after Ewan McGregor reprised his role of Obi-Wan Kenobi in his own 2022 Disney+ series. The film’s return to theaters marks not only its anniversary, but came just in time for the weekend’s unofficial Star Wars holiday, May the 4th.

Elsewhere, Zendaya, Mike Faist and Josh O’Connor continue to dominate social media and the box office, scoring an additional $7 million domestically for a global total of $52 million.

<p>MGM /Courtesy Everett</p> Mike Faist, Zendaya, Josh O'Connor in "Challengers."

MGM /Courtesy Everett

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

The sexy Luca Guadagnino-directed thriller follows a complex love triangle between three tennis players with serious tension and years of romantic history.

Fourth place went to Tarot, a horror flick following friends who unleash an unspeakable evil after tampering with a cursed deck of tarot cards. The film earned $6.5 million domestically, plus an additional $3.7 million overseas boosting its global tally to $10.2 million. The debut is especially commendable considering he low-budget horror film cost just $8 to make.

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire is clinging to the top five in its sixth week of release, earning another $4.5 million towards its $188 million tally ($546 million globally).

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