Uncharted’s Opening Weekend Suggests That the Entirety of Hollywood’s Future Rests on Tom Holland’s Svelte Shoulders

Uncharted’s Opening Weekend Suggests That the Entirety of Hollywood’s Future Rests on Tom Holland’s Svelte Shoulders

Uncharted, a globe-trotting, treasure-hunting PG-13 adventure film, had a remarkable opening weekend, “overperforming” at $51 million at the domestic box office, according to Deadline. (That number includes projections for Monday’s Presidents Day holiday.) The picture stars 25-year-old Tom Holland, still riding high as the lead in Spider-Man: No Way Home, which just surpassed Avatar to become the third-biggest movie at the domestic box office in history, and sixth worldwide, despite having never opened in China.

Uncharted, which was in development for well over a decade (and at one point, had David O. Russell directing), is based on a video game series for Playstation, making this a nice work of synergy for Sony, which is distributing the film. In addition to Holland, who stars as the franchise’s lead Nathan Drake, the film co-stars Mark Wahlberg, Antonio Banderas, Sophia Ali, and Tati Gabrielle. In 2010, Wahlberg was pegged to play the Nathan Drake character himself, but alas, these derring-do adventurers did not discover the Fountain of Youth. 

Critical reaction to the film, directed by Ruben Fleischer, has been considerably muted, with Vulture citing “the paint-by-numbers approach to character that often afflicts video-game movies.” The New York Times called the film “an amalgam of clichés that were already past their sell-by date when Nicolas Cage plundered the box office in Disney’s National Treasure series.” And the Guardian accused the production of having an “algorithm where its heart is supposed to be.”

Nevertheless, audiences are digging it. Deadline reports that it earned a respectable B+ from Cinemascore, which polls exiting audience members who actually bought tickets with their own dough. Furthermore, photos of Holland and Zendaya holding hands at the New York City premiere caused fans of the couple to rejoice on social media.

The success of Uncharted suggests that a rising tide may still lift all boats in today’s “wait-til-streaming” era. Dog, a relatively small budget comedy-drama about a pooch working in the armed services starring Channing Tatum, who also co-directed, secured $18 million at the domestic box office. Deadline reports that it did especially well with adult women.

But exhibitors banking the future of their livelihoods solely on the star-power of Tom Holland may have a problem on their hands. Other than The Crowded Room, a forthcoming series for streaming service Apple TV+ co-starring Amanda Seyfried and written by Akiva Goldsman, Holland’s dance card is deliberately spare. He will be “taking a break” following the Apple shoot, he said in a recent interview. The statement contrasts to an interview he gave in December, in which he said he would be back with Sony, the distributors of Uncharted and the Spider-Man trilogy, and producer Amy Pascal for a biopic of Fred Astaire. No director had been announced on the project. 

Someone needs to remind this young man that with great economic power comes great responsibility—and get him signed on some new projects.

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