Early Oscars Favorite ‘First Man’ Failed to Launch at Weekend Box Office

The Apollo 11 drama 'First Man' had a lukewarm opening weekend, falling to "Venom" and "A Star Is Born"

Despite its early Oscars buzz and slew of positive reviews from film critics, the Ryan Gosling-led space drama, First Man, had a less than stellar opening weekend at the box office.

It wasn’t even in the same orbit as the two first place finishers — Venom and A Star Is Born, despite the fact that both of those films were entering their second weeks.

The historical flick, directed by Oscar-winner Damien Chazelle (La La Land), grossed a mediocre $16.5 million domestically — less than anticipated given its 88 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.


But those who did head out to their local theater to watch Gosling’s portrayal of astronaut Neil Armstrong, commander of Apollo 11 and the first man to walk on the moon, had mixed takeaways. Overall, audiences have pegged First Man a B+ movie so far via CinemaScore — considered just so-so. Yet Universal, the film’s studio, isn’t worried.

“Our core audience, adult males, don’t necessarily run out on opening weekend,” said Jim Orr, Universal’s president of domestic distribution, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “We’ll have a great run for weeks and months to come.”

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