IF Captures Imaginations

John Krasinski's project is the first family-friendly film to open in weeks
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 19, 2024 1:55 PM CDT
Audiences Like IF More Than Critics Do
This image released by Paramount Pictures shows Ryan Reynolds, from left, Cailey Fleming, the character Blue, voiced by Steve Carell, and the Blossom, voiced by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, in a scene from "IF."   (Paramount Pictures via AP)

John Krasinski's imaginary friends movie IF claimed the top spot at the box office this weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday. Its $35 million North American debut was a bit lower than some projections. That could be an ominous sign of the box office times—or not, the AP reports. In these bumpy early weeks of the 2024 summer box office season, in which nothing has been a runaway hit and every new movie has more and more pressure to succeed, IF hit a nerve. There are several somewhat contradictory narratives swirling around the film's performance.

With its PG rating, IF was the first major family-friendly film to open in theaters in weeks. And unlike a front-loaded superhero or horror movie, family pics are often running a marathon, not a sprint. IF got middling reviews from critics (it's currently sitting at a "rotten" 49% on Rotten Tomatoes), but audiences gave it a solid A CinemaScore this weekend. Starring Ryan Reynolds, Cailey Fleming, and an army of A-list voices including Steve Carell, Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Louis Gossett Jr., Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and Maya Rudolph, IF was an original idea from Krasinski, who wrote, directed, and co-stars. Other debuts included the horror film The Strangers—Chapter 1 and the Amy Winehouse biopic Back to Black.

Below are estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at US and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.

  1. IF, $35 million.
  2. Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, $26 million.
  3. The Strangers—Chapter 1, $12 million.
  4. The Fall Guy, $8.5 million.
  5. Challengers, $2.9 million.
  6. Back to Black, $2.9 million.
  7. Tarot, 2 million.
  8. Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, $1.7 million.
  9. The Blue Angels, $1.3 million.
  10. Unsung Hero, $1.1 million.
(More box office stories.)

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