EntertainmentStuntman falls short in blockbuster season debut, despite rave reviews

Stuntman falls short in blockbuster season debut, despite rave reviews

Ryan Gosling in the movie "Drive"
Ryan Gosling in the movie "Drive"
Images source: © Press materials
2:47 PM EDT, May 5, 2024

The summer season in American theaters, from the beginning of May to the end of September, typically showcases the year's biggest blockbusters, launching with much fanfare. This year, the action comedy "Stuntman" heralded the start of the summer season. However, the kickoff was somewhat less than the spectacular debut many had hoped for.

It's worth noting that "Stuntman" has garnered quite favorable reviews, with a 83 percent positive rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes and an 87 percent approval from audiences. Despite these commendations, the movie didn't achieve the anticipated box office success." During its opening weekend, it managed to pull in just 28 million dollars in the US. When compared with previous year's debuts, "Stuntman" seems to fall short. For context, "Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 3" opened to 118 million dollars last year, while "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" debuted with 187 million dollars two years ago. Interestingly, this year's summer season was initially slated to begin with a comic book movie, "Deadpool & Wolverine," but its premiere was postponed due to last year's strikes in Hollywood.

Although expectations for "Stuntman" to match the earnings of top comic book movies were low, a debut of around 40 million dollars was considered the minimum acceptable for a film with a budget of 130 million dollars. Moreover, the film was heavily marketed, which likely incurred additional tens of millions in expenses, and featured major stars. "Stuntman" was dubbed "Barbenheimer 2," starring Ryan Gosling from "Barbie" and Emily Blunt from "Oppenheimer".

The film's protagonist, portrayed by Ryan Gosling, is a stuntman renowned for enduring explosions, gunshots, and dramatic falls—all in the name of entertainment. Following a severe accident, Colt Seavers leaves the film industry to work as a parking attendant. Unexpectedly, he gets pulled back into action with a mission to find a missing movie star, a task given by his ex-girlfriend, Jody Moreno (Emily Blunt).

Those who have watched the film particularly applaud the dynamic between the lead actors. "The casting couldn't have been more perfect, as Gosling and Blunt share an on-screen chemistry that steals the show. While 'Stuntman' is filled with breathtaking action scenes, including an impressive brawl in a club, the playful teasing and flirting between the leads leaves a lasting impression," Kamil Dachnij noted in his review of "Stuntman".

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