John Krasinski’s newest directorial production, IF, was highly anticipated for its unique concept to depict the fantasy world of a child’s imagination. The film starred Ryan Reynolds and the talented Cailey Fleming, and the screenplay centers on a young girl named Bea who is dealing with the impending loss of her father and the recent death of her mother.

Ryan Reynolds and Cailey Fleming in IF
Ryan Reynolds and Cailey Fleming in IF | via Paramount Pictures YouTube

She realizes her magical ability to see imaginary friends known as “IFs” and she goes through the journey along with her neighbor Calvin (Ryan Reynolds) as a guide. However, with all the uniqueness and big names in the cast, IF fails to earn a solid opening weekend at the box office.

IF Faces an Upsetting Opening Weekend

IF
IF | via Paramount Pictures YouTube

With an amazing voice cast consisting of Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Steve Carell, Emily Blunt, Louis Gossett Jr., Matt Damon, Maya Rudolph, Jon Stewart, Sam Rockwell, Sebastian Maniscalco, Christopher Meloni, Awkwafina, Blake Lively, George Clooney, Matthew Rhys, Bradley Cooper, Amy Schumer and Keegan-Michael and a live-action cast of John Krasinski, Fiona Shaw, Alan Kim, Liza Colón-Zayas and Bobby Moynihan, IF already seemed to be on its way of being a blockbuster.

Nevertheless, the film missed its mark. According to Variety, the film was made with a production budget of around $110 million. According to Box Office Mojo, IF made around $10.3 million in its domestic collection and an international opening of about $3.89 million.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film was projected for a $31.5 million domestic debut after estimating $40 million during pre-release tracking. So, the movie has heavily underperformed as compared to its expectations. IF has an IMDb rating of 6.8/10 and 50% on the Tomatometer. However, the audience score of 87% looks a bit optimistic so far.

The Ryan Reynolds starrer film seems to be facing a similar fate as Ryan Gosling‘s The Fall Guy, which was released on May 3, 2024. Both movies have big names in their cast and a unique story that was expected to win over the audience.

However, according to Variety, The Fall Guy also suffered a disappointing debut of $28 million, while it was projected to earn between $30 million and $40 million. The Fall Guy has a domestic budget of $130 million and a global budget of $239 million, and the move has managed to earn around $110.5 million worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo.

Why Did John Krasinski’s IF Fail at Box Office?

IF
IF | via Paramount Pictures YouTube

There might be several internal and external factors that contributed to the box-office performance of IF not being impressive. The mood of the movie was somehow inconsistent, and it could not really find the same amount of magic and wonder as the movie intended.

The gap between the fantasy universe of IFs and the gravity of Bea’s struggles was a bit too much. As a result, the story lacked sympathy for Bea, which was actually intended.

Many critics and viewers felt that IF failed to compensate for its sad and low moments with enough high moments, which was crucial for maintaining the balanced tone of the film. Moreover, the movie also lacks a clear explanation of the importance of the IFs and how they are emotionally attached to their previous owners.

Despite John Krasinski‘s best efforts, IF seems to have missed the mark in capturing the sense of wonder that similar films like Paddington have achieved. It is yet to be seen how much business is left to be done by the movie.

IF was released on May 17, 2024, and is running in theaters currently.

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