Fall Guy and Phantom Menace’s Muted Opens Kick Off the Summer Season

Fall Guy and Phantom Menace’s Muted Opens Kick Off the Summer Season

Image: Universal Pictures

Last summer was pretty packed with big movies, from the likes of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 to Across the Spider-Verse and Barbie. 2024’s summer movie season began this weekend with The Fall Guy and a re-release of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. With two throwback movies coming out in the same weekend—one based on an old ‘80s TV show and the other that first released in ‘99—you’d think we were in for another big summer, but so far, things aren’t hitting quite as hard in terms of box office.

Individually, those two movies did fairly solid: Fall Guy (headlined by Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt) ended up with $65.4 million worldwide, with $28.5 million of it coming from North America. While it fell just shy of initial projections of $30-40 million domestically, it’s still got pretty good reviews, and word of mouth may help get it across the finish line. In second place came Phantom with $8.1 million for North America and $14.5 million overall. A growing prequel fondness goes a decent way, as does attaching a preview of June’s The Acolyte series for Disney+.

But in Fall Guy’s case, its opening numbers mark a sharp falloff (heh) from that of 2023 and 2022. In both instances, Marvel kicked things off: Guardians opened last year on May 5 to $118.4 million, and Doctor Strange 2 saw $187.4 millon. Deadpool & Wolverine was once meant to come out this weekend as well alongside Fall Guy, but production was suspended that July due to the strikes, and it had just over a month’s worth of shooting left. So with no Marvel movie taking up a May slot as per usual, this year’s numbers are down by 53% (for 2022) and 66% (2022), making for what Variety called the softest start for summer movies in around 15 years.

Looking ahead, the rest of May is well-stocked with blockbusters. Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes releases next week with strong buzz behind it, followed by The Strangers: Chapter One and If on May 17. Furiosa will close things out on May 24, riding right into Memorial Day weekend. Come June 7, that first weekend’s packed with three big movies: Will Smith and Martin Lawrence return with Bad Boys: Ride or Die, the Shyamalan family trot out The Watchers, and Russell Crowe returns to horror with The Exorcism.

Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.

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