The historical drama, directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood and starring Viola Davis, performed at least 25% better than predicted by pundits. The historical action epic “The Woman King,” starring Viola Davis, dominated American box office rankings during its first weekend.
The film exceeded expectations by earning $19 million from 3,765 North American theatres throughout the weekend, thanks to excellent reviews and word-of-mouth advertising. Sony predicted a debut closer to $12 million, but independent tracking agencies predicted “The Woman King” would open to $15 to $18 million. Do you think The Woman King is based on a true story? If you want to know, then read this article. Is ‘The Woman King’ Based On A True Story?
The fact that “The Woman King” cost $50 million to make, not adding the tens of millions in marketing costs, such as a premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, is fortunate given Sony’s highly conservative estimates. eOne contributed to co-financing the film.
“The Woman King,” directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, is based on the true story of the Agojie. This all-female military group defended the Dahomey kingdom in West Africa from the 17th to the 19th centuries. The picture received favorable reviews from viewers, earning a rare “A+” CinemaScore.
As expected, women made up most of the opening weekend audience, purchasing 61% of the tickets from Friday through Sunday. Sixty percent of moviegoers were Black, 19 percent were Caucasian, 11 percent were Hispanic, and 10 percent were Asian.
Box office experts predict that “The Woman King” will have a successful run on the big screen, given the positive response from the opening audiences. It helps that there isn’t a lot of competition coming, even if Olivia Wilde’s “Don’t Worry Darling,” which also appeals to female audiences, debuts on September 23.
David A. Gross, the head of the film consultancy company Franchise Entertainment Research, claims that the reviews are sensational. During their carryover weeks, these films play to healthy multiples, which ought to occur here. There weren’t many other notable films appearing in theatres. Thus “The Woman King” easily towered over box office statistics.
With $3.1 million from 2,400 North American theatres, Searchlight’s intriguingly under-the-radar murder mystery “See How They Run,” starring Sam Rockwell and Saoirse Ronan, debuted in third place.
With $3.1 million from 2,934 sites, A24’s horror sequel “Pearl,” the only other movie to have a national premiere, came in a close fourth. Compared to “X,” directed by Ti West, which debuted in March with $4.2 million and earned $11 million by the end of its theatrical run, those ticket sales represent a drop.
A24 might not care that “Pearl” might perform worse than “X” at the box office because the independent studio has already revealed that a third installment, “Maxine,” will be released in 2023. The slasher series features Mia Goth in various characters, with “Pearl” serving as the genesis narrative for her repressed antihero.
“‘Pearl’ and ‘X’ are low-budget, well-reviewed, indie pics — produced, written, directed, and edited by Ti West — that shouldn’t be expected to match a studio release,” Gross says.
“Barbarian,” which debuted at No. 1, dropped to No. 2 with $6.3 million from 2,340 locations in its second weekend. It maintained a remarkable hold for a low-budget horror film, declining only 42% from its $10 million opening. “Barbarian” has brought in a respectable $20.9 million domestically.
In its fifth weekend of play, “Bullet Train” brought in $2.5 million from 2,602 theatres. The film has been a mainstay throughout the fall and has earned close to $100 million in North America, including $96 million in ticket sales. “Bullet Train” has amassed an astonishing $222 million worldwide, bringing its total box office earnings to $125.7 million.
“Top Gun: Maverick” by Paramount fell outside the top five on the domestic box office charts for the second time in 17 weeks. Over the weekend, 2,604 theatres added $2.18 million to the box office of Tom Cruise’s lasting blockbuster sequel, bringing North American ticket sales to $709 million.
It doesn’t have to be all sequels and superheroes.
"The Woman King," an original war drama starring Viola Davis, collected a strong $19 million in ticket sales over the weekend, at least 25% more than analysts had expected. https://t.co/ycd4jMtjAR
— The New York Times (@nytimes) September 18, 2022
Neon’s “Moonage Daydream,” a sort of documentary about David Bowie that was exclusively shown on 170 Imax screens, made the top 10 on the independent film scene. Over the weekend, the movie cost $1.225 million, with a respectable $7,207 per site. Over 600 theatres will screen Brett Morgen’s film “Moonage Daydream” the following weekend.
“The Silent Twins,” another arthouse release, earned $102,000 from 279 locations between Friday and Sunday, or about $365 per screen. The film, which made its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival to mixed reviews, is now being released by Focus Features. The real-life tale, which stars Letitia Wright, is about identical twin sisters who never spoke to anybody else.
Overall, the fall has been gloomy at the box office, with ticket sales down about 55% from 2019. The main reason is that studios haven’t been releasing movies from essential franchises. Before “Black Adam” (October 21), “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” (November 11), and “Avatar: The Way of Water,” the next potential blockbusters won’t be released (December 16).
“A rising tide lifts all boats,” says Gross, “but right now, the tide is out.”