Another 2023 theatrical release gets moved due to the SAG-AFTRA strike as MGM is pushing the Zendaya starring, Luca Guadagnino directed R-Rated tennis romance to April 26, 2024. The pic was scheduled to open stateside on Sept. 15, working off the heat of its Venice Film Festival opening night premiere. That world premiere is not happening now.
With Zendaya able to promote to her 200M social media followers as she’s one of the top 25 most followed stars on Instagram worldwide, this movie really needs her support to dynamite her fanbase to cinemas. Further proof of Zendaya’s sway on social: the Challengers trailer has received over 150M global views already and spurred 320 stateside conversations. It’s the most viewed trailer for an original film in its first 24 hours (meaning it’s not a sequel, reboot, or based on pre-existing IP).
The weekend before summer starts next year is being eyed as an even better place for this movie which will be counterprogramming to 20th/Marvel Studios Deadpool 3 which kicks off on May 3. Currently there are no other wide releases from the majors booked on April 26 next year.
Disney already braced for both strikes a while ago by making several release date changes. A24 just pulled Problemista from the August calendar due to SAG-AFTRA strike, and yesterday Lionsgate pushed White Bird from Aug. 18 to Q4 2023, as well as its Dirty Dancing sequel from Feb. 9, 2024 date to the summer of 2025; that latter pic still in development.