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The Fall Guy Passed A Minor Box Office Milestone – But It’s Still Got A Big Hill To Climb

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Looming very, very large is the movie’s $130 million net budget, which accounts for tax credits and whatnot. What that figure does not account for is the sizable marketing spend, as Universal went all-in on “The Fall Guy.” The studio brought the film to SXSW and CinemaCon, in addition to doing a full, well-rounded media blitz. Nobody can say the studio didn’t try like hell to make this movie work. But that all comes at a cost, and that money needs to be recouped. We’re probably looking at a total spend of around $230 million. The studio only sees about half of the money from ticket sales returned. As a result, the math is currently unfriendly.

The big question will be what happens in the coming weeks. John Krasinski’s family-friendly “IF” aims to pull in around $40 million this upcoming weekend, with “The Strangers: Chapter 1” and the Amy Winehouse biopic “Back to Black” also hitting theaters. The following weekend, we have “Furiosa” and “The Garfield Movie” entering the fold. If “The Fall Guy” can still hold strong in the face of such competition, there’s a fighting chance. But we’re still a long from this movie getting to north of $300 million, which is likely what it needs to make at a minimum to be considered a success on any level. Universal can help its cause here by not rushing the movie to VOD, but I wouldn’t hold my breath on that one. 

Looking ahead, the film is due to open in China this weekend, but Hollywood films have had a tough time breaking out in the country in the pandemic era. It will also arrive in Japan later this summer in August. Who knows? Maybe this will be 2024’s “Elemental” and go on an unexpected tear. I kindly doubt it, but such a result would be nice for a movie that both critics and audiences like quite a bit.

“The Fall Guy” is in theaters now.

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