Buoyed by great reviews and positive word of mouth, the film raised $19 million from 3,765 North American cinemas over the weekend, reaching the end above expectations. Independent tracking services “The Woman King” is expected to start at $15 million to $18 million, while Sony Estimated debut closer to $ 12 million.
Sony is fortunate that the movie exceeded its very conservative expectations. “The Woman King” cost $50 million to produce, not including tens of millions in marketing expenses, including a stop at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film was co-financed by eOne.
Gina Prince-Bethwood directed “The Woman King,” which tells the true story of a female warrior unit known as the Agojie, who protected the Kingdom of Dahomey in West Africa during the 17th and 19th centuries. The audience was receptive, and the film was awarded the rare CinemaScore “A +” award.
As expected, the majority of the opening weekend crowd was female, with women making up 61% of ticket buyers between Friday and Sunday. Broken down by demographic, 60% of moviegoers were black, 19% Caucasian, 11% Hispanic and 10% Asian.
Given the strong reception from initial audiences, box office analysts believe The Woman King will enjoy a lucrative run on the big screen. It helps that there isn’t much in the way in the form of competition, though Olivia Wilde’s “Don’t Worry Darling,” which is also aimed at female audiences, opens on the big screen on September 23.
“The reviews are exciting,” says David A. Gross, who runs film consultancy Franchise Entertainment Research. “These films are being run for health complications during their retention weeks, and that has to happen here.
The Woman King easily topped the box office charts because there weren’t many other notable films showing in theaters.
Also new to the marquee of cinemas, Searchlight’s bizarre under-the-radar murder mystery “See How They Run,” starring Sam Rockwell and Saoirse Ronan, opened in third place with $3.1 million from 2,400 North American theaters.
The only other film to debut nationwide, the A24 horror sequel “Pearl,” came in fourth with $3.13 million from 2,934 places. Those ticket sales are down from its predecessor, Ti West’s “X,” which debuted in March to $4.2 million and ended his theatrical run with $11 million.
A24 may not care that “Pearl” may not make it to “X” at the box office; The independent company brightened a third chapter in the trilogy, “MaXXXine,” for the first time in 2023. Mia Goth stars in the slasher series as the evil X, with “Pearl” serving as the origin story about repressed heroes.
“Pearl” and “X” are low-budget, well-reviewed independent images – produced, written and directed And the Edited by Ti West — we shouldn’t expect it to match the studio version,” Gross says.
Two of the outstanding titles, Airbnb’s cooler “Barbarian” and Brad Pitt’s thriller “Bullet Train”, grabbed the top five.
“Barbarian,” which took first place last weekend, slipped to second place with $6.3 million from 2,340 sites under its second year. It’s only 42% down from its $10 million debut, an exceptionally strong influence for a low-budget horror film. To date, “Barbarian” has earned a solid $20.9 million at the domestic box office.
At number five, “Bullet Train” earned $2.5 million from 2,602 theaters in its seventh week of release. A mainstay throughout the fall, the film approaches $100 million in North America, with ticket sales of $96 million.
For only the second time in 17 weeks, Paramount’s “Top Gun: Maverick” has landed outside the top five in the domestic box office charts. The hugely successful Tom Cruise sequel added $2.18 million from 2,604 locations over the weekend, boosting ticket sales to $709 million in North America.
Overall, it was a dismal drop at the box office, with ticket sales down nearly 55% compared to 2019. This is mostly because studios haven’t released films from major franchises. The upcoming blockbuster movie(s) won’t be until “Black Adam” (October 21), “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” (November 11), and “Avatar: The Way of Water” (December 16).
“The high tide lifts all the boats, but now the tide has stopped,” Gross says.