Box Office: ‘Don’t Worry Darling’ Expects $21 Million Opening

Box Office: ‘Don’t Worry Darling’ Expects  Million Opening

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It’s been a heady, rocky odyssey to the release of “Don’t Worry Darling”—one that featured canceled late-night gigs, rumored production rivalry, and conspiratorial frame-by-frame analysis of red carpet body language and alleged loogie trajectory. But there would always be an opening weekend at the end of this road. And the numbers show that Olivia Wilde directed a hit.

“Don’t Worry Darling” should have no trouble topping the domestic box office, debuting at $21 million in 4,113 theaters. The film earned $9.4 million from its opening day and Thursday previews — a more than solid figure for an original film with a modest $35 million production budget.

With a star-studded cast led by Oscar nominee Florence Pugh and pop superstar Harry Styles, the film has generated enough excitement to convince fans to see how the mystery all plays out on the big screen. The crowd gravitates towards women, who made up 66% of the opening day crowds.

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Ticket buyers weren’t put off by largely unimpressed reviews. The film has a rather dismal 21% approval rating from top critics on Rotten Tomatoes, the review collection site. Variety lead film critic Owen Gleiberman wasn’t overly enthusiastic about the film, although he did predict ultimate popular success: “Between the pop ambition, the tasty dream visuals, and the presence of Harry Styles in his first starring role, ‘Don’t Worry Darling’ shouldn’t be a problem. must have to find an audience, but the film takes you on a ride that gets less and less sparkly as it goes on.”

The coming days will see if that audience sticks around. “Don’t Worry Darling” has been given a “B-” rating by research firm Cinema Score, indicating a largely apathetic response from general moviegoers (although that’s in line with your standard psychological thriller). It’s not impossible that the swirl of “Don’t Worry Darling” rumors cultivated event status around the film, which could eventually lead to a more front-loaded box office appearance.

In “Don’t Worry Darling,” Pugh and Styles star as a happily married couple in the experimental desert community of Victory, California. But the glittering routine of nuclear age life isn’t quite what it seems, with a Svengali-esque cult leader (Chris Pine) courting the small town. The film also stars Wilde, Gemma Chan, KiKi Layne, Nick Kroll and Kate Berlant.

This weekend also sees the re-release of James Cameron’s sci-fi hit “Avatar,” as 20th Century Studios and parent company Disney gear up to bring audiences back to Pandora in December with the highly anticipated sequel, “The Way of Water.”

Featuring 3D screenings in premium format auditoriums like Imax, “Avatar” made $3.32 million from 1,860 theaters on Friday. The film projects a weekend total in the high single digits.

“Avatar” will build on its current domestic gross of $760 million, the fourth highest in North American box office history behind “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” ($936 million), “Avengers: Endgame” ( $858) million) and “Spider-Man: No Way Home” ($814 million). During its original series and subsequent reissues, James Cameron’s epic is the highest-grossing film ever, grossing $2.845 billion at the worldwide box office.

TriStar Pictures’ “The Woman King” earned $2.95 million at 3,765 locations on Friday, down 56% from its opening day gross last week. The Viola Davis vehicle is expected to earn $10 million over the weekend, expanding domestic transportation to $35 million. Directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, the historical epic has been received with enthusiasm by critics and audiences alike. Should “The Woman King” continue to drive word of mouth to healthy multiples, the Sony release will end up with a North American gross amount large enough to justify its $50 million production budget.

20th Century Studios’ “Barbarian” looks set to drop to fourth with a $4.7 million weekend, predicting a spectacular 28% drop in its third outing. The film has become a buzzy title among horror fans. According to director Zach Cregger, “Barbarian” has a slim production budget of $4 million — a figure that surpassed the domestic gross of $25 million long ago.

Fifth place is a tight race, but A24’s “Pearl” seems to lead the competition so far. The Mia Goth horror vehicle appears to drop a slim 38% in its second outing, expanding its domestic haul to $6.6 million.

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